County issues air quality health advisory

Fresno Fire and several other agencies are reporting an increase in smoke in the air calls into dispatch

"Honestly, we are recording some of the worst air quality ever recorded in any part of the Bay Area", said Tom Flannigan, spokesman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The district issued a smoke advisory yesterday (Oct. 10) because of the wildfires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres, and later in the day issued a health advisory and Spare the Air alert.

Continuing wind and wildfires today may cause residents to experience trouble breathing, coughing, headaches and chest pain.

Smoke from the fires drained into Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and parts of Alameda and San Mateo counties, where air quality readings reached levels that the Environmental Protection Agency classified as "very unhealthy".


Officials warn that very fine smoke particles, a fraction of the size of a human hair, can lodge in the lungs and, particularly in some vulnerable populations, do damage. Anyone exposed to poor air quality or wildfire smoke should move inside to an air-conditioned environment. "An important thing is you may not have symptoms until after 36 hours after the exposure". That is the same amount of pollutants that all of California's 35 million cars produce in a year.

The school district canceled all athletic practices and games, and students were kept inside during recess.

Like we've seen around the sports world, more so this year than in the past, these teams are taking it upon themselves to help their communities. Those with heart and lung diseases should follow doctor's advice. Other suggestions include staying indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible and shutting off fans that bring smokey outdoor air inside.

More than 25,000 people have had to flee for safety from the wildfires. Disposable respirators known as N-95 or P-100 respirators will help if you have to be outdoors for a period of time. Paper masks are created to trap large particles, such as sawdust, and will not protect your lungs from small particles such as PM2.5.

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