Update: Air Quality Alert Remains In Effect
The Air Quality Alert issued by the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District, will continue to remain in effect until the Ferguson Fire is extinguished. Calaveras has also issued a Hazardous Smoke Advisory (see below).
The smoke levels continue to reach well into the hazardous range.
Exposure to particle pollution can cause serious health problems, aggravate lung disease, cause asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and increase risk of respiratory infections.
Residents are advised to use caution as conditions warrant.
People with heart or lung diseases should follow their doctors advice for dealing with episodes of unhealthy air quality.
Older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure, strenuous activities or heavy exertion, as conditions dictate.
Calaveras Air Quality
The Calaveras County Public Health Officer and Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potentially hazardous air quality conditions due to smoke from fires currently burning throughout the state. Although the air throughout the county is currently rated as Unhealthy, the Southeast portion of the county including Arnold and the surrounding areas have deteriorated enough to be rated as Hazardous according to the EPA rating scale. The air quality is expected to fluctuate over the next few days.
The potential impact varies, based on geographical location and wind direction, but has the greatest impact on sensitive populations, including individuals with heart and lung disease, elderly persons, infants, children and pregnant women.
As general cautionary measures, the following measures can be taken to protect during periods of poor air quality:
- 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, wholehouse 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 “recirculate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
- Do not smoke, vacuum, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
- If you have asthma, take your medications and follow your asthma management plan
- People with severe health conditions should consider leaving the area for a few days.
Even healthy persons can be affected by wildfire smoke. If you can see or smell smoke, take precautions. People with heart or lung disease who experience repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain should contact their doctor or clinic. “If an existing illness gets worse due to smoke exposure, seek medical help,” advised Dr. Dean Kelaita, County Health Officer.
The Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District will continue monitoring the air quality in the county and will provide additional advisories as air quality conditions evolve.
For more information call the Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District at (209) 754-6399 or Calaveras County Health and Human Services – Public Health Division at (209) 754-6460.
Read the earlier news story “Smoke Related Health Advisory” here.