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Smoke blankets Southern California due to wildfires

Southern California remained shrouded in smoke on Saturday as two forest fires continued to burn with little containment.

A smoke advisory is in effect Saturday in most of Los Angeles County and parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties due to the Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest which had scorched 29,245 acres (118.4 square kilometers) with only 6 percent containment.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, the 14,043 acre (58.9 square kilometers) El Dorado Fire which occurred on Sept. 5 was contained by 39 percent Saturday noon.

A map updated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) showed air quality in the region during this weekend is expected to range from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children, elderly, and people with respiratory or heart disease.

In some areas near the wildfire scenes, the air quality is forecast as “unhealthy” level.

“Breathing in smoke can aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks, cause acute bronchitis, and increase the risk of respiratory infections,” the National Weather Service warned on its official website.

The SCAQMD issued a smoke advisory every day since the El Dorado and Bobcat fires erupted last weekend and brought ash, dust and debris across the region. Additionally, smoke from wildfires in Northern and Central California is making its way south.

Meanwhile, evacuation warnings remained in the cities of Duarte, Bradbury, Monrovia, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena and Altadena, which stand along the foothill of Santa Ana Mountain where the Angeles National Forest is located.

These cities have hundreds of thousands of residents, with a high percentage being Chinese Americans. 

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