After almost a week of nonstop smoky air, the prevailing wisdom has settled on a couple of bits of advice: Stay inside. Don't use a mask, either the heavy-duty N95 masks or the lighter dust masks. Here's an announcement Thursday afternoon from Sacramento County:
Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the smoke impacts to our region, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer is advising all residents, businesses and schools that if you see or smell smoke, to take the following actions:
- Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible.
- Minimize outdoor activities if you see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy, and avoid exposure particularly for children, elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions by staying inside and limiting physical activity.
- N95 masks are not generally recommended to the general public due to the impact on breathing and dust masks are not effective.
- Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
- The short-term exposures to wildfire smoke particulate matter range from eye and respiratory tract irritation, reduced lung function, bronchitis, and exacerbation of asthma and other pre-existing heart and respiratory conditions.
- Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke.
- Schools are minimizing the smoke exposure to students by canceling or moving all outdoor activities such as recess, PE, and after-school athletics indoors. Schools have also been encouraged to continue to accommodate families that choose to keep their children home due to health concerns related to the air quality by excusing absences and allowing students to make-up their work. Schools have been advised to evaluate their facility's indoor air quality and air filtration in order to decide if the school should remain open. If schools close, parents and guardians are reminded to limit children’s outdoor activities and stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible.
- The smoke from the devastating Butte County fire may continue to impact our area into next week.
- Sacramento County Public Health will continue to coordinate with the Sac Metro Air District to monitor the air quality and will advise the public accordingly with the ongoing smoke impacting the region.