Agency: Fire has nasty impact on area’s air quality |

Agency: Fire has nasty impact on area’s air quality

Eileen JoyceSmoke billows up from the fire in downtown Nevada City on Wednesday.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Air quality took a nose dive Wednesday due to the Nevada City structure fire that destroyed Friar Tuck’s restaurant and the county probation office. Officials expected the air to be clear by today.

The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District issued a health advisory for sensitive individuals.

“It’s smoky, so use some good judgment,” said Joe Fish, air pollution control specialist. “We sent out a health advisory (Wednesday morning) to some of the schools we thought were downwind.”

Sensitive individuals – those most at risk from exposure to particulate matter – are the elderly, children, asthmatics and adults with pre-existing heart and lung disease, pregnant women and athletes.

The air quality district advised that whenever the air is unhealthy, people in sensitive categories should stay indoors and avoid intense physical activity that may increase breathing rates.

Scientific studies have linked fine-particulate matter (smoke) to significant health problems, including premature death, respiratory-related hospital admissions, aggravated asthma, acute respiratory symptoms (including severe chest pain, gasping and aggravated coughing), chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, and work and school absences.

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