For Immediate Release:
September 08, 2020
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, smoke from the Bobcat Fire burning in the region has caused unhealthy air quality in the following areas:
“It is difficult to tell where smoke, ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of these particles in the air, so we ask everyone to remember that smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even for people who are healthy," said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Health Officer for Los Angeles County. “If you can see smoke, soot, or ash, or you can smell smoke, pay attention to your immediate environment and take precautions to safeguard your health. These precautions are particularly important for children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases.”
These precautions include avoiding unnecessary outdoor exposure and limiting physical exertion (whether indoor or outdoor), such as exercise. Children and people who have air quality sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen, or there is no smell of smoke. If your condition worsens, contact your health care provider immediately for medical advice or call 911.
Wildfire smoke is a mixture of small particles, gases, and water vapor. Small particles are the primary health concern. These small particles can cause burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches, and illness (i.e., bronchitis). In people with sensitive conditions, they can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, and chest pain.
“We are also advising day camps that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside recreational activities, such as hiking or picnics, until conditions improve,” said Dr. Davis.
People can participate in indoor activities in areas with visible smoke, soot, or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside, and it has closed windows and doors to protect the cleanliness of indoor air. If not, it is recommended that everyone follow these guidelines as if they were outside.
The following is recommended for pets:
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,100 employees and has an annual budget of $1 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, instagram. com/lapublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.