August 10, 2018 3:45 a.m.
Local health officials are urging residents to protect themselves from wildfire smoke.
A release from the Douglas Public Health Network said smoke from wildfires can reduce air quality and harm health. Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr Bob. Dannenhoffer said that wildfire smoke contains fire particles. He said when the particles in the air are concentrated, the air quality decreases. Then when people breath this air, it makes them sick. Dannenhoffer said “people at the highest risk of illness are those with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly and children”. He said people with asthma or other lung conditions should follow their breathing plans. He said they should keep medications available and contact their health provider if necessary.
The release from the Douglas Public Health Network suggests people take the following steps to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms when wildfire smoke is present:
*Be aware of the level of smoke in your area and avoid areas with the highest concentrations.
*Check the current air quality for you area on Oregon Smoke blog at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous.
*Avoid smoke by staying indoors when the smoke is the thickest. If you are indoors, close as many windows and doors as possible. Use a filter in your heating and cooling system that removes fine particles.
*People with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children are more sensitive to serious health effects from wildfire smoke. If smoke is likely to last for more than two days, leaving the area until the smoke clears is the best way to avoid health problems.
*Avoid strenuous outdoor activity when smoke is heavy.
Contact the Douglas Public Health Network for more information on dealing with wildfire smoke.