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Air Quality Advisory in Placer County due to American Fire



Placer County, CA August 12, 2013, The Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing this joint Air Quality Advisory to notify the public of poor air quality conditions due to smoke from the American Fire, 17 miles north-east of Foresthill.

These widespread smoky conditions will affect Placer County from the valley to the Lake Tahoe area, dependent upon the wind direction, until the fire is extinguished. In the evenings smoke tends to move downhill, becoming more concentrated in lower elevation areas, including the foothills and the Lake Tahoe region. In the afternoon and early evening hours, conditions may improve as smoke rises.

The major air pollutant of concern is fine particulate matter also known as PM2.5. While all persons may experience varying degrees of symptoms, the more sensitive individuals, such as the young, aged and those with respiratory conditions are of greatest risk at experiencing more aggravated symptoms. These may include, but are not limited to coughing, watery and itchy eyes, scratchy throat, and difficulty in breathing.

If you can see or smell smoke, avoid all unnecessary outdoor activities.

Here are recommended ways to reduce your smoke exposure:

  • Stay indoors with the windows and doors closed; run the air conditioner on the "recirculation" setting
  • Limit outdoor exertion and physical activity
  • Leave the smoke- impacted areas until conditions improve, if possible
  • Reduce unnecessary driving. If traveling through smoke-impacted areas, be sure that your vehicle's ventilation system is on re-circulate
  • Avoid the use of non‐HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering out extra fine particulates

Persons experiencing questionable or severe symptoms should contact their doctor if they have any questions.

Keep in mind that air quality can change rapidly at different times during the day due to wind shifts; therefore, it is important to monitor the smoke throughout the day in your area and make outdoor plans accordingly.

Incident information can be found at www.placer.ca.gov. Information on air quality and smoke can be found at www.placer.ca.gov/apcd or www.sparetheair.org. The Spare the Air website is a useful site to monitor current air quality values.

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