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Air quality health advisory issued due to Rice’s Fire

Submitted to The Union

The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District and the Nevada County Public Health Department are issuing a joint Air Quality Health Advisory to notify the public of the possibility of poor air quality conditions until Tuesday.

The health advisory stems from the Rice’s Fire near Bridgeport in Nevada County. Air quality is expected to vary greatly throughout the advisory period depending on fire behavior and weather conditions, with smoke settling in low areas at night.

Exposure to elevated PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in smoke) concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain, especially among sensitive individuals such as the elderly, children, people with asthma, people with heart or lung conditions, pregnant women and anyone who is exercising or working hard outdoors.

If you smell or see smoke around you, the following actions are recommended: Minimize outdoor activities even if you are healthy; stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible; run the air-conditioner on the “recirculate” setting, if that is an option; people with asthma should follow their asthma management plan; people with heart disease, respiratory conditions or chronic health issues should stay indoors; contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe fatigue; keep airways moist and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water; avoid breathing additional smoke, such as from cigarettes or barbecues.

Near real-time air quality conditions for Grass Valley may be found at http://www.myairdistrict.com (click on your location of interest in the “Local Air Quality” portion). As you view the most recent data, take into consideration that conditions can change rapidly due to wind shifts; it is wise to monitor the smoke throughout the day and make plans accordingly. The smoke may be visible in satellite imagery, available via http://www.weather.gov/sto.

Additional information about air quality can be found on the following website: http://www.airnow.gov.

Smoke mapping can be found at: fire.airnow.gov.

To sign up for the Air Quality Health Advisory email list, visit http://www.myairdistrict.com.

Source: Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District and the Nevada County Public Health Department

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