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Morning Briefing: Abysmal Air Quality Sets In

The Bobcat Fire continued to burn in Angeles National Forest on Sept. 10, 2020. Courtesy of Caltrans
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I’m sure I wasn’t alone in spending yesterday awash with confusion and dread as the skies turned orange and rained ash upon already shuttered businesses and a few brave, mask-clad souls.

The abysmal air quality (and chillingly apocalyptic tableau) was obviously on its way for days, but if you (like me) felt like it got suddenly worse, that’s because it did. KPCC’s Jacob Margolis notes that the abrupt change was partly the result of shifting Santa Ana winds, which left smoke in their wake instead of blowing it away. Burning matter from the massive fires in Northern California is also making its way south.

"With some of these mega wildfire complexes, you actually start seeing them affecting air quality literally thousands of miles away,” said Michael Jerrett, Professor of Environmental Health Science at UCLA.

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The air may shift again with the winds, but it’s unlikely that it will clear up until the fires are well on their way to being contained.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, September 11

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Emon Barnes, a client of the Loyola Project for the Innocent, is scheduled to be released from jail. Robert Garrova has the story.

The California chapter of the NAACP is opposing Proposition 15, saying it would hurt businesses owned by people of color. David Wagner reports.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Wildfires: The out-of-control Bobcat Fire more than doubled in size overnight, reaching 23,890 acres with no containment. The El Dorado Fire has burned 12,610 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest, and is at 23% containment. Air quality in L.A. plummeted today -- here’s why. Our own Emily Guerin, an avid hiker and backpacker, spoke with experts to get the best advice for surviving a blaze in the great outdoors.

Bad Business: County health officials are cracking down on businesses that aren’t complying with coronavirus safety protocols. Film industry executives continue to practice egregious, discriminatory hiring practices, despite 13 years of damning research from USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. The state is sending out the latest $300 unemployment benefit checks, but some 200,000 Californians don't qualify because they weren't making enough money (yep).

Distance Learning: The California State University system will continue with predominantly online instruction for the academic term beginning in January. The Long Beach Unified School District will remain in distance learning mode through the end of the semester

Election News: State Senator Holly Mitchell and L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson debated virtually this week for the first time in the general election campaign for an open seat on the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

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Here’s What To Do: Watch new and notable films from Mexico, visit the NHM's Butterfly Pavilion, explore California's biodiversity, and more in this week’s best online and IRL events.

Photo Of The Day

The Bobcat Fire continued to burn in Angeles National Forest.

(Courtesy of Caltrans)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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