As wildfires continue to affect many parts of the state — including most recently the McIver Fire near Estacada — it’s important to protect yourself from smoky air. Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction.
Poor air quality due to wildfires can cause health problems for people with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly, and children. Fine particles in smoke also can affect people suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions.
Take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
- Limit your exposure to smoky air. Reduce time spent outdoors, and reduce time spent in vigorous outdoor activity.
- Try to avoid driving in smoky areas. If you do need to drive in these areas, keep your windows rolled up and vents closed. If you need air conditioning, make sure you set your system on “re-circulate” to avoid bringing smoke into your car.
- Drink lots of water. staying hydrated can keep your airways moist which will help reduce symptoms of respiratory irritation such as scratchy throat, running nose and coughing.
- Follow your breathing management plan if you have heart or lung disease, such as asthma. Keep medications on hand, and contact your healthcare provider if necessary.