The Moonlight Fire, burning in the Plumas National Forest, is creating smoky conditions in Placer County, prompting the Placer County Health and Human Services Department and Placer County Air Pollution Control District to issue a health advisory.
“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.
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.
If you are in an area where you can see or smell smoke, until conditions improve, consider the following recommendations:
- Healthy people should delay strenuous exercise.
- 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.