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Wildfire smoke prompts air quality advisory for Placer County

October 11, 2017

The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential of poor air quality conditions due to multiple fires occurring throughout northern California. This advisory will be active from today, Oct. 11, until conditions improve.

Smoke is expected to affect all portions of Placer County until the fires are extinguished. Smoke contains very tiny particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs. While all people may experience varying degrees of symptoms, the more sensitive individuals — such as young, aged and those with respiratory conditions — are at greatest risk of experiencing more aggravated symptoms. Symptoms may include but are not limited to coughing, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy throat and difficulty in breathing.

If you can see or smell smoke, avoid all unnecessary outdoor activities, especially if you are in an area where visibility is greatly reduced.

Here are recommended ways to reduce your smoke exposure:

  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; if possible run the air conditioner on the “recirculation” setting
  • Limit outdoor exertion and physical activity
  • Leave the smoke-impacted areas until conditions improve, if possible
  • Reduce unnecessary driving. If traveling through smoke-impacted areas, be sure that your vehicle’s ventilation system is on recirculate
  • Avoid the use of non‐HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering out extra fine particulates

Anyone experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctor if they have any questions.

Keep in mind that air quality can change rapidly at different times during the day due to wind shifts; therefore, it is important to monitor the smoke throughout the day in your area and make outdoor plans accordingly. Information on smoke can be found at www.placerair.org or www.sparetheair.com. The Spare the Air website is a useful site to monitor current air quality values.

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