Public Service Announcement from the North Coast Air Quality Management District:
Overall, smoke dispersion conditions will be diminished in most areas through Tuesday morning, and in some areas quite poor. On Wednesday, a weak low pressure trough will arrive and somewhat improve dispersion conditions Wednesday through Friday. Afternoon transport winds will mostly be W to SW. No air quality Advisories or Alerts are presently in effect.
The Air Resource Advisor assigned to the Northwest California fires (Orleans Complex, Eclipse Complex, Salmon August Complex) indicates that areas in the vicinity of the fires were impacted heavily by smoke yesterday, which can expect similar conditions today. Communities to the northeast of these fires are primarily more impacted than those to the southwest in the Klamath drainage. Communities closest to and adjacent from the fires will continue to see the worst air quality. Today’s weather is expected to bring higher temperatures and potential for more smoke which will settle into inland valleys, but is expected to begin mixing out in the afternoon into the evening.
Weitchpec and Orleans can expect air quality primarily in the range of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, but periods of Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, or possibly brief periods of even Hazardous levels are possible. The air quality in Hoopa is forecast to be generally Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, with brief periods in the Unhealthy range. Weaverville and other areas to the east-southeast should see Good to Moderate air quality.
Smoke from the Chetco Bar Fire in southern Oregon continues to remain mostly localized today, but is traveling west out into the ocean and south along the immediate coast. Although the Humboldt Bay Air Basin (Trinidad, McKinleyville, Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna, Scotia) did see some higher smoke levels overnight, Good to Moderate levels are forecast along the coast, including Crescent City.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are presently in Eureka, Crescent City, Blue Lake, Rio Dell, Scotia, Weaverville, Willow Creek, Hoopa, Weitchpec, and Orleans.
Subsequent Wildfire Smoke Public Service Announcements will be issued should conditions change. Fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or at www.calfire.ca.gov. Current weather information can be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov.
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
• Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.