Smoke from Mendocino Lake Complex, Santa Rosa Area Fires May Continue to Affect SoHum

This is a press release from North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) and partners:

Smoke from fires to the south (Mendocino Lake Complex and from the Santa Rosa area fires) may continue to affect southern Humboldt County depending on proximity. The weather forecast is for winds to continue to push this smoke to the south over the weekend.

Air quality in southern Humboldt is forecast to be “Good” to “Moderate” with the possibility for “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” in the late evening. All other areas in Humboldt, Del Norte and Trinity Counties should see “Good” to “Moderate” air quality.

Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are still presently in Eureka, Scotia, Blue Lake, Smith River, Crescent City, Klamath, Orleans, Weitchpec, Hoopa, Weaverville, and Hayfork. Fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or at www.calfire.ca.gov. Current weather information can be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov.

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.

For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).

For further information, visit the District’s website at www.ncuaqmd.org

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