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Office of Emergency Services

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Smoke from Several Wildfires Burning in Northern California is Impacting the Sacramento Region

Wildfire Smoke Impacts Sacramento Region

Smoke from several wildfires burning in Northern California is impacting the Sacramento region, enhancing ozone formation and increasing particle concentrations. 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. People who are affected by, or susceptible to, COVID-19 may be at increased risk from wildfire smoke due to cardiovascular symptoms or a compromised or suppressed immune system.

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.

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