According to the Colusa County Air Pollution Control District, the Camp Fire burning in Butte County is producing significant smoke impacts to local areas.
The advisory is in effect from Nov. 16 through Nov. 19.
“Residents in these affected areas should be aware of their local air quality and take necessary precautions to protect themselves,” said Air Pollution Standards Officer, Donald Kitamura. “These fires are being managed by state and local fire officials, but smoke impacts may continue throughout the week.”
The Colusa County Air Pollution Control District reports that Air Quality conditions currently are in the very unhealthy range. Conditions may fluctuate from moderate to hazardous throughout the advisory.
“Smoke from fires produce fine-particulate matter (PM2.5), which can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke,” said Kitamura. “Where conditions warrant, people should limit their outdoor activity.”
The American Lung Association in California urges all those in areas affected by ongoing wildfires to protect themselves and their families from unhealthy air quality and atmospheric conditions. At particular risk for serious reactions are those with lung disease, youth and the elderly.
All those affected by poor air quality from continued wildfires should:
- Shelter in place with doors, windows and fireplace dampers shut, when possible
- If indoors, try to use air conditioning units with HEPA-type filters or, use the “recirculate air” selection on regular A/C units
- If individuals must be outdoors, do so for only short periods of time
- When outdoors, don’t rely on standard “dust masks” for protection, seek out special N-95 or N-100 masks to filter out fine particles produced by wildfires; those with lung disease should consult their doctor before using such masks
- Take extra precautions for children – their lungs are still developing and are vulnerable
- While inside vehicles, be sure to keep windows and vents closed; air conditioning should only be used in the “recirculated air” mode
- Don’t exercise or do hard work outdoors – this applies especially when in smoky areas or even if you smell smoke in the air
More information about protecting lung health during wildfires may be found at Lung.org/wildfires or via our free Lung Helpline at 800-LUNGUSA (800-586-4872). If family members have trouble breathing, call your physician or emergency services immediately. ■