Air Quality Health Advisory for Plumas, Sierra and Nevada County – Smoke

Friday, November 9 through Monday, November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018 – Public Health Officials and the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District are issuing an air quality health advisory to notify the public of potentially poor air quality conditions in the western portions of Plumas, Sierra and Nevada County through Monday resulting from the Camp Fire in Butte County. Conditions are expected to vary from Good in areas that are not in the smoke plume to Very Unhealthy in some areas downwind from the fire.  The greatest smoke concentrations during the advisory period are expected late Friday afternoon and Saturday.

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.

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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 to reduce your exposure; if you use an air conditioner or forced air heater/furnace, choose the “recirculate” setting if that is an option;
  • People with asthma should follow their asthma management plan;
  • People with heart disease, respiratory 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 may be found at www.sparetheair.com/wildfire or at www.myairdistrict.com (click on “Local Air Quality” in the lower middle portion).  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.