From the Lassen County Public Health Director
Lassen County – Parents and individuals with sensitive health conditions who live near areas affected by the Chip and Reading fires should stay alert to changing smoke levels and be prepared to act accordingly, Public Health Director, Joanna Zimmermann, advised today.
Smoky conditions can be hazardous for young children, the elderly, individuals with heart conditions or chronic lung disease such as asthma and bronchitis, and individuals with other respiratory ailments.
Because of the uncertainty of fire conditions, Zimmermann advises residents near the fires to be prepared. Individuals with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung or heart diseases should make sure that they are on medication and have at least a five-day supply on hand. Individuals with asthma should consult their physician about an asthma management plan and stick to it during unusually smoky conditions. Listen for radio and television messages about fires in your area.
Zimmermann also advised residents to be prepared to stay indoors and limit their activity if necessary. Check for a “recirculation” function on your air conditioner. If smoke is present, it will be easier to breathe indoors if air is recirculating instead of drawing smoky air from outdoors. Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue. This is important for not only people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can “unmask” or produce symptoms of such diseases.