by ARIANA GOMEZ
Every year, the valley goes through difficulties. Whether it is extreme heat, or not enough water for crops, nothing in the past couple years can compare to what we encountered last week. On Tuesday, September 8th, citizens in the valley noticed the air was unusually foggy looking. However, this “fog” made it difficult to breathe, as well as slightly burning people’s eyes.The online air quality meter was at the second worse that it could be! This was the result of multiple forest fires in the Sierra Foothills. Most sports practices were cancelled in the valley, and people with breathing issues, such as asthma, were told to stay indoors. Over the next few days, the air got increasingly worse. Doctor Lauren Hiyama, who works at the Visalia BAZ and Allergy center, commutes everyday from Fresno and observed the way that the air was changing when he would drive to and from work. He also gained information on it by seeing his patients that day, and hearing how it affected them. On Thursday, September 10th, he said, “It’s unbelievable. You can cut it with a knife, it’s so thick”. Most sports activities in the valley were cancelled, and all school outdoor activities were cancelled. Some cities even cancelled school, such as Clovis and Fresno. People were told to stay inside as much as they could and people with allergies and or asthma were told not to go outside or exercise. Once the week was almost through, the air began to clear, and the air quality improved drastically. It was almost as if the entire valley was on lockdown. However, everyone is thankful that the air has cleared, and that the fires are dying down.