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Free Air Purifiers for Residents in Many Valley Communities



The program helps families who may not otherwise be able to buy an in-home air purifier to protect their families during wildfires. (Shutterstock)
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The Valley Air District said Thursday that it is relaunching a program offering free single-room air purifiers.

The idea behind the effort is to mitigate the adverse health effects of wildfire smoke for the region’s most vulnerable populations.

“Smoke from severe wildfires can inundate the Valley and make its way into homes, causing health impacts to our most vulnerable residents,” said Samir Sheikh, executive director of the Valley Air District. “This program is designed to help families who may not otherwise be able to buy an in-home air purifier to protect their families during wildfires.”

Eligible first-time applicants in the San Joaquin Valley —specifically those in disadvantaged and low-income communities— can get a unit for their homes while supplies last.

How to Apply

First-time applicants can check their eligibility and apply for the program at If the resident is approved, a whole-room air purifier and filter replacement will be shipped to their home.

The air purifiers are certified by the California Air Resources Board and HEPA-rated, district officials said.  The units can reduce indoor particulate matter by more than 90% in well-sealed environments. By creating a dedicated “clean air room” such as a bedroom, residents can ensure that they have a space with safe indoor air quality when smoke events occur.

Particulate matter can trigger asthma attacks, aggravate chronic bronchitis, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Individuals with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of PM exposure. Those with existing respiratory conditions, young children, and the elderly are especially susceptible to the health effects of this pollution

For more information, visit or call a district office: Fresno (559) 230-6000, Modesto (209) 557-6400, or Bakersfield (661) 392-5500.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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