Air quality health advisory for smoke on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 – until conditions improve

October 13, 2017 – The Nevada County Public Health Department 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 resulting from numerous fires in California.  Although recent conditions have kept the smoke from impacting Nevada County the last two days, conditions could change quickly with wind direction. Large amounts of smoke could settle in lower areas at night and drift across Nevada County during the day, depending on wind direction and other factors.

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 as much as possible; run the air conditioner on 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 (click on “Current Conditions” on the left) 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.