The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District issued a joint air quality advisory last week to notify the public of the potential of poor air quality conditions due to smoke from fires burning throughout the state.

Wildfire smoke continues to affect all regions of Placer County. Air quality continues to have the potential to have negative health impacts, particularly for sensitive groups. These potential negative health impacts may be exacerbated by prolonged smoke exposure.

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 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 seek professional medical advice and treatment if they have any questions or concerns.

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 air quality and smoke can be found at http://www.placerair.org/infoandeducation/wildfiresmoke or www.sparetheair.com . Additional statewide information can be found at the California Smoke Blog at www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com

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