Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke
As some of you may know, there was yet another large fire yesterday in Solano County. The wildfire burned more than 4,000 acres of land and was 70% contained as of last night. Luckily, there were no fatalities or injuries.
Most of us could see and smell the smoke spreading through the air. The smoke is made up of small particles, gases, and water vapor. The remainder includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, and air toxics.
Some may be more sensitive to the smell than others, either way, it is best to avoid inhaling smoke if you can help it. The smoke can cause a headache or irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
The biggest health threat from the smoke is from the fine particles that it carries. These particles can penetrate deep into your lungs. Your lungs and airway may become swollen, irritated, and blocked. This could prevent oxygen from getting into your blood and respiratory failure may develop. With that being said, you can see why it is very important to avoid inhaling the smoke.
You can reduce wildfire smoke exposure by staying indoors, keeping windows and doors closed, and running your HVAC system on the recirculating setting. Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Wearing a mask called a "particulate respirator" can also help protect you. Also, be sure to check local air quality reports and local visibility guides so that you are aware of what actions you need to take, if any, to avoid smoke inhalation.