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Smoky Skies Prompt Tuolumne County Air Quality Advisory

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Sonora, CA – With the skies blanketed by wildfire smoke, Tuolumne County health officials are alerting the public to potential health risks.

The public health department and the Air Pollution Control District issued a joint public health and air quality advisory regarding the poor air quality conditions due to the Caldor Fire burning in El Dorado County and other large wildfires burning in Northern California. They note that currently, due to northerly winds, the county is experiencing air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy depending on where you reside.

In a written statement county health officials detailed, “Over the next week, weather conditions and winds will vary in this region which could change from moderate to very unhealthy air quality.”

While smoke exposure produces varying degrees of symptoms, health officials inform the health risk to an individual depends on age, health status, and length of exposure. They added, “For the young and elderly or those with underlying health conditions, it is imperative that measures be taken to minimize your exposure to wildfire smoke. Anyone experiencing serious symptoms should contact their health care provider or the emergency department.”

On Tuesday, as reported here, Calaveras County issued an Air Quality Advisory that is scheduled to end at 1 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 20) but relayed that could be extended if smoky conditions persist. No end date was given by Tuolumne County health officials.

Here are the recommendations provided by local health officials to reduce exposure to smoke:

  • If you can see or smell smoke, limit all unnecessary outdoor activities;
  • Stay indoors, closing all windows and doors, and use the air conditioner on the recirculation setting, replacing air filters can also help;
  • Keep in mind that healthy individuals can be negatively impacted by the pollutants from smoke;
  • Limit even indoor physical activities:
  • Wearing a mask indoors is not considered adequate protection for smoke-related impacts;
  • Smoking, using the vacuum, fireplace, or candles are not advised due to the build of particulate matter from these activities; and
  • Check on your loved ones and neighbors
  • Smoky skies in downtown Sonora 8-19-21
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