Air Quality Advisory: Unhealthy Conditions
Alert issued by the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District:
Smoke levels in these area(s) have been classified as Unhealthy and are creating a health hazard.
Smoke is being generated by the numerous fires of the Humboldt Lightning Complex, Mad River Complex, Rail Fire, River Complex, Fork Complex, and Barker Fire.
Smoke will likely settle in nearby canyons, valleys, and basins during nights and mornings and cause very poor air quality, but afternoon conditions will allow smoke to lift up and drift, to the N to NE today and Wednesday, and in variable directions on Thursday.
Depending upon your proximity and in areas near the fires, smoke concentrations could range from Unhealthy to even Hazardous. These conditions are problematic for those with health conditions.
Smoke levels continue to be monitored. Please watch for updates. People are recommended to restrict outdoor activity. Symptoms that may be related to excess smoke exposure include:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Chest tightness or pain
Nausea or unusual fatigue
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider.
Please see the NCUAQMD’s General Public Service Announcement for recommendations on limiting smoke exposure. Health Information for Smoke Impacts Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults. These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe. If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen. Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.