Press release from the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District:
Smoke impacts are anticipated today in and around the inland communities of Somes Bar, Orleans, Weitchpec, Hoopa, and Willow Creek. Smoke may even extend into the coastal communities such as Blue Lake, Arcata, Eureka, and McKinleyville.
The potential for very active to extreme fire behavior exists today. Current weather forecasts in the fire areas is for sunny with warmer temperature and dry NE winds throughout most the day and evening. Nightime conditions will again allow smoke to settle into inland valley and canyon locations. Tomorrow dry conditions will persist with easterly or northeasterly winds forecasted. Smoke impacts tomorrow will be similar to today.
If you live (or plan travel) in the regions listed above, please watch for Air Quality Alerts, which are issued when unhealthy or hazardous conditions exist.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call the NCUAQMD's hotline toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the website at www.ncuaqmd.org.
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or 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, whole-house 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 "re-circulate" or "recycle" setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).
For further information, visit the District's website at www.ncuaqmd.org