Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Public Health Department Issues Air Quality Health Advisory

The Lassen County Public Health Department announced Friday afternoon that it is issuing an Air Quality Health Advisory to notify the public of the possibility of poor air quality conditions through at least July 20th, resulting from the Beckwourth Complex Fire in southeastern Lassen County, impacting the Herlong, Doyle and surrounding communities and the Dixie Fire in Butte County Above the Cresta Dam, Feather River Canyon, impacting the Westwood, Clear creek, and even possibly the Susanville, Janesville area.

Air quality is expected to vary greatly throughout the advisory period depending on fire behavior and weather conditions, with smoke settling in low areas at night and in the early mornings.

Exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma, people with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women and anyone who is exercising or working hard outdoors. People who are affected by, or susceptible to, COVID-19 may be at increased risk from wildfire smoke due to cardiovascular symptoms or a compromised or suppressed immune system.

If you smell or see smoke around you, the following actions are recommended:

  • Minimize outdoor activities even if you are healthy
  • Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible; run the air conditioner on the “recirculate” setting if that is an option
  • People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan
  • People with heart disease, respiratory conditions or chronic health issues should stay indoors
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe fatigue
  • Keep airways moist and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Avoid breathing additional smoke, such as from cigarettes or barbecues

Near real-time air quality conditions for Lassen County may be found www.lassenair.org. As you view the most recent data, take into consideration that conditions can change rapidly due to wind shifts; it is wise to monitor the smoke throughout the day and make plans accordingly.

The smoke may be visible in satellite imagery, available via www.fire.airnow.gov

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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