Smoke-Related Health Advisory Continues Through Wednesday
September 11, 2006
SMOKE-RELATED HEALTH ADVISORY CONTINUES THROUGH WEDNESDAY
The Ralston Fire, burning in the Tahoe National Forest, continues to create smoky conditions in the foothills, prompting the Placer County Health and Human Services Department and Placer County Air Pollution Control District to maintain a health advisory issued Sept. 6 through Wednesday, Sept. 13.
"In a nutshell, if you can see or smell smoke, you should limit outdoor physical activities, and strongly consider canceling outdoor sporting events and other group physical activities," Placer County Health Officer Dr. Richard Burton said.
People should generally avoid physical exertion during smoky conditions. Particularly affected are children and the elderly.
Dr. Burton and Air Pollution Control Officer Tom Christofk advise residents to take the situation into account as they plan activities through Wednesday.
Smoky conditions vary considerably in Placer County, because of the terrain and the weather. A specific location therefore may be smoky at one point and clear at another. Depending on where you are, you may or may not be impacted, and the situation could change very quickly.
Until conditions improve, individuals should consider the he following recommendations:
- Healthy people should delay strenuous exercise, particularly when they can smell smoke.
- Children and elderly people should consider avoiding outdoor activities, particularly prolonged outdoor exertion.
- People with health-related illnesses, particularly respiratory problems, should remain indoors.
- Using paper mask filters, which are not capable of filtering extra-fine smoke particles, and which restrict airflow, is not recommended.
- Stay inside with doors and windows shut. Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. Avoid cooking and vacuuming, which can increase pollutants indoors.
- Asthmatics should follow their asthma-management plan.
- Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue. This is important for not only people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can "unmask" or produce symptom of such diseases.
- Keep airways moist by drinking lots of water. Breathing through a warm, wet washcloth can also help relieve dryness.
For updates on the fire, please call the Fire Information Center at 530-367-6550 or 530-367-6551. Information also is available on the Web at
Please do not call 9-1-1 for information; call only to report an emergency, such as a fire you can see.