It’s wildfire season in California and there’s one burning close to home. The Carr Fire is currently burning near Redding, California and its effects can be felt throughout many Northern California communities. The haze of smoke drifting into the valley can cause health problems such as eyes stinging, irritation of the respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases such as COPD. While older adults and children are most likely to be affected, it’s important for everyone to take necessary steps to stay as safe as possible from wildfire smoke. Below are suggested steps to take from the CDC.
Posted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Check local air quality reports. Listen and watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Find out if your community provides reports about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI) or check the report on Air Now. In addition, pay attention to public health messages about safety measures.
- Consult local visibility guides. Some communities have monitors that measure the amount of particles in the air. In the western United States, some states and communities have guidelines to help people determine if there are high levels of particulates in the air by how far they can see.
- Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner, 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 in a designated evacuation center or away from the affected area.
If you have COPD, asthma, or another type of lung disease it’s important to be proactive when wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality. Call your doctor or visit the Medical Specialty Center at Orchard Hospital – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic if you’re having trouble breathing. Also, listen to the news for updates and evacuate from the path of the wildfires if you think you’re in any danger.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.