Air Quality Health Advisory
Advisory has been extended to Monday, July 9, 2018
Air Quality Health Advisory
Monday July 2 to Friday July 6, 2018
The Public Health Officers for Yuba and Sutter counties and the Feather River Air Quality Management District are issuing a joint air quality health advisory to notify the public of potentially poor air quality conditions. Starting Monday, July 2nd, southerly winds will likely bring smoke from the County fire in Yolo County and other regional wildfires into the Sacramento Valley. The smoke impacts may continue for several days as the southerly winds may persist until Saturday July 7 and the County fire is 3% contained and 44,500 acres.
“Residents with lung or heart disease, and the elderly are advised to leave areas where levels of particulate matter are high. For everyone else, when you smell smoke, or see smoke around you, you should consider staying indoors and avoiding heavy exertion,” cautions Lou Anne Cummings, MD, MPH, the Sutter County Health Officer.
Smoke density can vary widely from one local area to another and also with time of day. “Air quality conditions depend on a number of factors, which include proximity to the fire, wind speed and direction, and whether inversions are present,” warns Christopher D. Brown, Air Pollution Control officer.
You can check current conditions online at www.airnow.gov. Residents can also sign up for air quality forecasts and alerts at www.fraqmd.org. Residents who see or smell smoke should consider these precautionary measures:
· Healthy people should delay strenuous exercise, particularly when they can smell smoke.
· Children and elderly people should consider avoiding outdoor activities, particularly prolonged outdoor exertion. Parents of children involved in youth sports programs should consider whether their children be allowed to participate when smoke is in the air.
· People with health-related illnesses, particularly respiratory problems, should remain indoors.
· Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Use the recycle or recirculate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
· Avoid the use of non-HEPA paper face mask filters which are not capable of filtering extra fine particles. Do not rely on HEPA face mask filters to do unnecessary outdoor activities.
· Keep airways moist by drinking lots of water. Breathing through a warm, wet washcloth can also help relieve dryness, but does not filter out the hazardous smoke particles.
· Avoid the fire areas.
Wildfire smoke may contain particulate matter, ozone, carbon monoxide, and toxic air contaminants. While all persons may experience varying degrees of symptoms, more sensitive individuals, such as the young, aged and those with respiratory conditions are at greatest risk of experiencing more aggravated symptoms. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, coughing, watery and itchy eyes, and difficulty breathing. Persons experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should seek professional medical advice and treatment. Nicole Quick, MD, MHP, the Yuba County Health Officer instructs residents to “Call your doctor if you have cough, chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, or other concerning symptoms.”
The following index may also assist in assessing the air quality based on the visibility in your area. To assess visibility:
· Face away from the sun. Determine visibility range by looking for targets that are at known distances (miles). You can use an electronic device map app or a map of the local area that has a mile scale.
· The visible range is the point where even high-contrast objects disappear.
Distance you can see - 10 + miles
Recommended action if you are a healthy adult, teenager, or other child-Watch for changing conditions and moderate outdoor activity based on personal sensitivity
Recommended action if you are age 65 and over, pregnant, a young child or have asthma, respiratory illness, or lung or heart disease-Watch for changing conditions and moderate outdoor activity based on personal sensitivity
Distance you can see - 5 – 10 miles
Recommended action if you are a healthy adult, teenager, or other child-Moderate outdoor activity
Recommended action if you are age 65 and over, pregnant, a young child or have asthma, respiratory illness, or lung or heart disease-Minimize or avoid outdoor activity
Distance you can see - Less than 5 miles
Recommended action if you are a healthy adult, teenager, or other child-Minimize or avoid outdoor activity
Recommended action if you are age 65 and over, pregnant, a young child or have asthma, respiratory illness, or lung or heart disease-Stay inside or in a location with good air quality
Some examples of local distances: From the junction of Hwy 99 and Hwy 20 to the South Butte in the Sutter Buttes is about 11 miles; from the intersection of Hwy 20 and Acacia Avenue to the South Butte is about 5.5 miles; and the distance between the 5th Street and 10th Street bridges is about 0.5 mile.
County officials will continue to monitor air quality in Sutter and Yuba County and provide updates on this advisory as needed. For current information, or to sign up for air quality alerts and forecasts, go to the Feather River Air Quality Management District website http://www.fraqmd.org/ or check the Sutter County and Sutter County Public Health Facebook pages or Yuba County website.