Wildfire Smoke Statement for Sacramento County School Districts
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, in conjunction with Sacramento County Public Health, is advising residents to take precautions and minimize outdoor activities if they see or smell smoke transported by the Camp Fire in Butte County.
For Sacramento County School Districts, Sacramento County Public Health recommends that the best way to minimize smoke exposure for students when smoke is seen or smelled is to stay inside with windows and doors closed. With currently projected air quality, the Public Health Officer recommends that schools cancel outdoor recesses, outdoor activities and outdoor physical education (P.E.). Additional advisements may be distributed if smoke is projected to be sustained in the “very unhealthy” range.
Smoke from this fire most likely will affect Sacramento through Wednesday, November 14 but may last longer depending on the strength and direction of the winds and the fire status. Due to the unpredictable nature of wildfire smoke, particulate matter (PM) pollution levels can be elevated in one area, but not another.
Wildfire smoke is harmful to your health. If you see or smell smoke, take the following actions:
- Minimize outdoor activities if you see or smell smoke, even if you’re healthy
- Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid exposure
- Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible
- Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan
- Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke
- Those with heart disease should especially limit their smoke exposure since PM can cause heart attacks
- For those without filtered indoor air, Dr. Kasirye, Public Health Officer for Sacramento County, reminds people of options for places to seek indoor respite from smoke, such as shopping malls, community centers, public libraries, or coffee shops.
For more information, visit the Sac Metro Air District’s wildfire page at http://www.airquality.org/Air-Quality-Health/Climate-Change/Public-Outreach/Wildfire-Smoke-Information
You may also download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app or sign up for Air Alert emails at www.SpareTheAir.com.
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Advisement on Mask Use
At this time, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer is advising only the appropriate use of the N95 respirator mask for those in the fire zone that do not have access to filtered or recirculated air and instead is strongly advising the residents of the Sacramento County region to stay indoors and avoid exposure to smoke. Prolonged use of N95 respirator mask can exacerbate symptoms in those with respiratory problems. N95 respirator mask use by those with heart and respiratory diseases can be dangerous, and should only be done under a doctor’s supervision.