SMOKE IN THE BASIN AND SURROUNDING AREAS
According to our monitors in Klamath Falls and Chiloquin, the Air Quality today has been Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and at times Unhealthy for all groups. The smoke is coming into the Basin and the surrounding communities from the July Complex fire, Happy Camp Complex fire, and the 790 fire. We expect unhealthy air quality conditions to persist throughout the week.
How to tell if smoke is affecting you
Smoke can cause-
· A scratchy throat
· Irritated sinuses
· Shortness of breath
· Chest pain
· Stinging eyes
· A runny nose
· Asthma exacerbations
If you have heart disease, lung disease, or pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you are at higher risk than healthy people and exposure to smoke might make your symptoms worse. Symptoms include:
· Inability to breathe normally
· Cough with or without mucus
· Chest discomfort
· Wheezing and shortness of breath
When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, possibly because they are more likely to have heart or lung diseases than younger people.
Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.
Limit your exposure to smoke. Following are ways to protect your health:
Pay attention to local air quality reports. Listen and watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Check out http://www.klamathair.org/update/updateAdvisory.php for today’s local Air Quality Advisory and http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx for the hourly Air Quality Index. Also pay attention to public health messages about taking additional safety measures.
The following link contains some guidelines to help people estimate AQI based on how far they can see. www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/visibility.htm
If you are advised to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.
Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
Follow your doctor's advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease, Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.