SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Air quality is expected to hit unhealthy levels for sensitive groups, as triple-digit temperatures take over the Sacramento region this week. 

The first Spare the Air alert of the year is issued for Tuesday with ozone pollutants causing the air quality to have an index of 129. Monday’s air quality index was 115.

Sacramento Region Spare the Air, the region’s air quality monitor, the alert was issued due to “an upper-level ridge of high pressure that will strengthen over Northan California, reducing mixing and producing sunny skies with temperatures near 105 degrees.” 

Smoke from the Six Rivers Lighting Complex Fire in Humboldt and Trinity counties will impact the region’s air conditions. In addition, calm to light winds from the southwest will reduce dispersion, allowing pollutants to accumulate in the Sacramento area, according to the organization.

What is a Spare the Air alert? 

A Spare the Air alert is issued in the Sacramento region whenever the AQI for ground-level ozone pollution is forecasted to reach 126 or above, according to the Sacramento Region Spare the Air website. 

The region’s Spare the Air organization is monitored by the Sacramento Metro Air District, which is responsible for monitoring air pollution in the area. The Metro Air District also develops and administers programs to reduce air pollution levels below the health-based standards established by the state and federal governments. 

What is the Air Quality Index?

The AQI is an index that reports daily air quality and monitors how clean or unhealthy air is and what associated health effects might be a concern, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The AQI is measured from 0 to 500 and the higher the value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. 

AQI is split into six different levels of health concern and is labeled in different colors. 

Here are the six AQI values: 

  • 0 to 50, good, green
  • 51 to 100, moderate, yellow
  • 101 to 150, unhealthy for sensitive groups, orange
  • 151 to 200, unhealthy, red
  • 201 to 300, very unhealthy, purple
  • 301 to 500, hazardous, maroon