Plumas and Sierra Counties
The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District and the Public Health Departments of Plumas and Sierra Counties are issuing a Joint Air Quality Health Advisory due to smoke impacts from the Mosquito Fire in Placer and El Dorado Counties, CA near Oxbow Reservoir. Smoke impacts could result in poor air quality conditions in both counties. Smoke could vary from Moderate to possible periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) throughout the day. Air quality conditions change rapidly, and smoke may be intermittent and affect different areas dependent upon wind direction and time of day.
Poor air quality has the potential to cause negative health impacts, particularly for sensitive groups and when exposure is prolonged. Exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma, people with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women and anyone who is exercising or working hard outdoors.
If you smell or see smoke around you, the following actions are recommended:
- Minimize outdoor activities even if you are considered healthy;
- Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible; run the air conditioner on the “recirculate” setting if that is an option;
- People with asthma should follow their personal asthma management plan;
- People with heart disease, respiratory conditions or chronic health issues should stay indoors;
- Contact your doctor if you have any symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe fatigue;
- N95 masks are not recommended unless you have to work outside for extended periods of time. Due to the high temperatures, it is encouraged that people not work outside unless absolutely necessary and wear a properly fitted N95 mask.
- Snug fitting N95 masks are effective in protecting the wearer from smoke particles. Re-use of N95 masks may reduce effectiveness and make breathing more difficult. Surgical and cloth masks are not effective in protecting against smoke damage to the lungs due to the very small particle size.
Additional information about air quality can be found on the following website:
Smoke mapping can be found at: https://fire.airnow.gov/
To sign up for the Air Quality Health Advisory email list, please visit https://myairdistrict.com/index.php/email-advisories-newsletter/