Dry conditions often equate to wildfires. And wildfires equate to smoke. Staying alert of impending danger is key.
Even if the wildfires are miles away, the smoke produced may reach your community. Fine particles, called particle pollution, are of the most concern. If you breath these particulates in, they can deposit deep in your lungs and cause many health issues.
Initial smoke contact will produce burning eyes and runny nose, but over time events such as asthma, heart and lung disease can be the outcome.
Taking action before, during and after exposure to wildfire smoke is a good way to reduce your expose to illness.
Before the fire:
- Prepare, build, maintain and extinguish campfires safely.
- Organize important items you may need to take with you in the event of an evacuation
- Stock up on food, medicine and other essentials to last a few days
- Know your EPA Air Quality Index
- Seek advice from your veterinarian on what to do for your pets and livestock
- Keep your indoor air as clean as possible and change filters regularly
During the fire:
- Follow your local public health department’s safety messages
- Children show a greater risk due to developing airways. Keep children from outdoor when wildfires have been announced.
- Those who already have heart and lung disease should be evacuated safely and quickly
- Keep the fresh-air intake on your air conditioner closed; avoid burning candles or fireplace
- Protect your animals
- Do not rely on store bought dust masks
- Evacuate when ordered and follow directions
After the fire:
- Protect yourself while cleaning up—eyes, nose and skin can suffer
- Thoroughly clean yourself with soap and water; ash may contain chemicals that irritate skin
- Wash utensils and containers used for food preparation or consumption to avoid contamination
A great resource is the Ready for Wildfire Mobile App download it here- https://tinyurl.com/y2nc5kvs