Public Health Press Release
Yreka, CA – Due to the wildfires currently active in our area Siskiyou County Public Health Officer, Dr. Aaron Stutz, and Siskiyou County Air Quality officials are advising residents to take precautions and avoid voluntary outdoor activities if the Air Quality Index (AQI) level is unhealthy (above 150).
Although not all areas in the county are currently at an unhealthy level, conditions can quickly change throughout the day. Stay informed by checking the AirNow Fire and Smoke Map or, by going to the Siskiyou County Air Pollution Control District webpage.
Schools, recreation districts, and other organizations that operate outdoor sports programs are advised to voluntarily cancel or postpone outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy.
The following recommendations can protect residents during smoke exposure:
- Stay indoors as much as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, with fresh-air intake closed. If your air conditioner unit can accommodate a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter it will reduce particulates. Changing your air conditioner filter and using a room air cleaner that utilizes a HEPA filter can help reduce fine particles in indoor air.
- Limit physical activity. Engaging in outdoor physical activities, especially rigorous exercises, can lead to increased exposure to pollutants. Consider adjusting your outdoor activities until the air quality improves.
- Avoid using swamp coolers or whole house fans in smoky conditions. Seek a relocation site if you do not have air conditioning.
- Do not add to indoor pollution. Do not use anything that burns such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not fry foods. Do not vacuum because it stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke as it also adds pollution into the air. If you do not have air conditioning, take these additional steps to protect yourself and your family from heat exhaustion, which can be especially dangerous for infants, children, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases.
- Lower body temperature by using cold compresses, misting, and taking cool showers, baths, or sponge baths. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing.
- Us an indoor economical box fan with HEPA filter.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. However, if your doctor has told you to limit the amount you drink or you are taking water pills (diuretics), ask your doctor how much you should drink during the heat.
- Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine as these can promote dehydration.
- Particulate Respirators (N-95 masks, NIOSH approved) can be of some benefit in reducing exposure to smoke if they are properly fitted and sealed closely to the wearer’s face. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Siskiyou County Public Health at 530- 841-2134 or [email protected].