Free N-95 face masks will be distributed to the public at City of Santa Maria fire stations on Tuesday, December 12th as a coordinated effort of the City of Santa Maria and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. This is due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire burning above Santa Barbara.

The masks will be distributed at the five City Fire Stations (not the airport fire station), from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12th, subject to crew availability at each station. Stations may be temporarily closed as crews respond to their regular emergency calls, in which case the City asks the public to please be patient.

The mask helps filter harmful small particles found in ash and smoke, when people go outside. To make the masks fit, press it down around the nose and make sure it makes an airtight seal around the face. People should stop using the masks if they no longer make an airtight seal around the face, whether from being bent or too soiled.

The City asks the public to please consider the needs of sensitive persons and refrain from asking for a mask for a person who is in good health.  The City has a limited supply of N95 masks. The smoke from the Thomas Fire, while irritating, generally has not reached unhealthful levels in the Santa Maria Valley.  However, sensitive persons with lung disease, asthma, or impaired immune systems may find additional relief with the proper use of an N95 mask.

The distribution sites are:

Station #1: 300 West Cook Street

Station #2: 416 West Carmen Lane

Station #3: 2305 North Preisker Lane

Station #4: 2637 S. College Drive

Station #5: 1670 East Donovan Road

To view the latest fire information, visit: http://countyofsb.org/thomasfire.sbc#update.

To view the current air quality levels, visit http://www.ourair.org/todays-air-quality.