Health officials warn of poor air quality due to fires

Long Beach health officials issued a notice Wednesday night advising of poor air quality due to two major fires burning in the Southern California area.

The Bobcat Fire began Sunday and is burning north of Azusa in the Angeles National Forest, and the El Dorado Fire is burning in the San Bernardino Mountains near Yucaipa.

Smoke and ash rising into the atmosphere may be visible over Long Beach and other areas, according to a statement from Dr. Anissa Davis, the city health officer. Residents who can see or smell smoke should avoid unnecessary outdoor activities.

Officials also advised:

  • Avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion.
  • Remain indoors, especially for individuals with respiratory or heart disease, pregnant women, older adults and children.
  • Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter.
  • Run your air conditioner if you have one.
  • Change the standard air-conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If you have a wall-unit or window-unit air conditioner, set it to “re-circulate.”
  • Avoid the use of a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside, if possible.
  • Avoid indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces, to avoid worsening the health effects of wildfire smoke.

For more detailed information about air quality related to the wildfires, visit the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s website at aqmd.gov or view a map of local real-time air quality data. If you would like to sign up for air quality forecasts, subscribe by visiting airalerts.org.

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