August 31, 2017 – The Nevada County Public Health Officer and the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District are issuing a joint air quality health advisory to notify the public of potentially poor air quality conditions through September 4th resulting from numerous fires in California and Oregon.  Smoke may settle in lower areas at night and drift across Nevada County during the day, depending on wind direction and other factors.  Also, high temperatures combined with the smoke will likely lead to increased ozone formation in the afternoons and evenings.

High concentrations of ozone and smoke can cause 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.

The following actions are recommended when air quality is poor:
• Limit outdoor exercise to the morning hours and minimize outdoor activity in the afternoon and evening;
• Sensitive individuals should avoid outdoor activity, especially in the later part of the day, and run the air conditioner on the “recirculate” setting if that is an option;
• People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan;
• Contact your doctor if you have shortness of breath, excessive coughing, 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.

The use of filter masks is not recommended because they can reduce air flow for people who are already having breathing difficulty.

Near real-time air quality conditions may be found at (click on “Current Conditions” on the left) or at (click on “Local Air Quality” in the lower middle portion).  As you view the most recent data, take into consideration that ozone is usually increasing through the afternoon and evening.  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.