California Drivers Warned to Avoid Gas Stations and Delay Filling up Cars in Multiple Cities

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: Jun 24, 2024

Officials have publicly warned California drivers to avoid gas stations for the next few days in various cities in the Golden State, thanks to the state’s overall air quality.

According to these new alerts, drivers in specific counties of the state should steer clear of filling up their cars with gasoline, if at all possible.

Air Quality Alerts

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) revealed these new alerts on Sunday. These warnings will be in place in California until Wednesday morning.

The Golden Gate Bridge seen behind fog.

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Officials of the AQMD have revealed pollution has caused poor air quality in these areas. To try to limit this pollution as much as possible, they are asking California drivers to limit some interactions they normally have.


Avoiding Gas Stations

Officials have stressed to these Californians that they should avoid gas stations as much as possible. At the very least, they should delay filling up their car until the evening, when pollution levels are lower.

A gas station seen with cars around it in the daytime.

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As overall air quality tends to be the worst during the hottest parts of the day, experts are asking drivers to only head to gas stations during the evening.

Limiting Other Actions

Californians are also being asked to limit some of their other regular, daily actions to help combat these bad air qualities seen throughout the state.

A view of a shovel and broom near a lawn mower.

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During this time, people are asked to only use gasoline-powered garden and lawn equipment in the evening. California residents should also only use household chemicals at night, as well.

Bad Air Quality Can Harm Health

Experts have long warned that poor air quality can make many people sick.

A hazy view of mountains seen behind a California beach with people on it.

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This latest warning reads, “Elevated levels of ozone the predominant summertime pollutant are likely to result in poor air quality in the afternoon and early-evening hours. Ozone air pollution can cause respiratory health problems, including trouble breathing, asthma attacks, and lung damage. Children, older adults, and people with asthma or COPD may be more sensitive to the health effects of ozone.”

High Heat Makes Situations Worse

This warning also revealed that hotter temperatures can make pollution much worse.

An orange sky seen in California during sunset.

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“Air quality can change depending on the time of day and weather conditions. Increased emissions of chemicals and faster ozone formation rates due to heat, along with low winds and stagnant weather can cause unusually high and persistent levels of ozone pollution,” the alert said.


California Counties Affected

Many California counties are impacted by this latest warning. These counties include San Bernardino and Riverside County Valleys-The Inland Empire, San Bernardino County Mountains, Riverside County Mountains, Santa Ana Mountains and Foothills, Coachella Valley, San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, and Orange County Inland.

A close-up of a person putting gasoline into their car.

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Many cities within these counties are affected by this air quality alert and have been asked to avoid gas stations until the evening.


A New Trend

This latest California warning comes as a new warning trend becomes normal for many Americans throughout the country.

An aerial view of a hazy sky seen over Los Angeles, California.

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Air quality alerts have become more and more frequent this year alone, as experts have tried to warn residents that the air in their regions has become incredibly poor. Officials are attempting to combat this poor air quality by asking Americans to refrain from gas stations from time to time.


Air Quality Alerts and Heat Waves

These latest air quality alerts come hand in hand with warnings of ongoing heat waves seen throughout the United States.

A bird’s eye view of downtown Los Angeles seen underneath a hazy orange sky during sunset.

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Much of the country has been under what meteorologists call a “heat dome” for a few weeks now. Many states are forecasted to continue to be under excessive heat notices for the rest of this week. Officials have noted that the country’s excessively hot summer seems intent on continuing.


California Wildfires

Warnings of California’s overall air quality have arrived during a time when firefighters are attempting to fight a wildfire in the state.

A wildfire seen on a hill in California during the evening.

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Wildfires have often worsened California’s air quality in the past. Now, this current fire could harm the state’s already poor air.


Record Breaking Temperatures

The United States isn’t alone in dealing with incredibly high temperatures. Many parts of the Northern Hemisphere have also struggled under excessively hot weather.

A man sweating with a face towel while drinking from a bottle while outside.

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A new report has even indicated that 1,400 temperature records were broken in just one week thanks to these ongoing heat waves seen throughout the world.


Hot Weather May Make Air Quality Worse

As pollution is the worst during the hottest parts of the day, many experts have worried that these ongoing high temperatures could make many cities like California experience continuous days of poor air quality.

Low clouds seen over San Francisco.

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Scientists have pointed to human-caused climate change as the reason why both higher temperatures and pollution are seen this summer.