5/14/2014 07:45 PM PDT

County Public Health Officer: Avoid Exposure to Smoke

Exposure to smoke could have some potential health impacts, according to County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten.

If you smell smoke, you are being exposed to particulate matter from the fires.

The effects of smoke range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to reduction of lung function and worsening of chronic lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

If you or a member of your family is experiencing breathing difficulties due to smoke inhalation, do not hesitate to contact your health professional.

The best strategy is to limit your exposure to smoke from the fires.

Specific strategies to reduce smoke exposure include:

-Reduce physical activity

-Stay indoors if you have not been asked to evacuate

-Create a clean room at home (A good choice is an interior room, with as few windows and doors as possible, such as a bedroom)

-Run an air conditioner or central air conditioning system if you have one. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air option, keep the fresh-air intake closed to prevent smoke from getting inside. Make sure that the filter is clean enough to allow good air flow indoors.

-In extreme cases, relocate to an area not impacted by smoke from fires

Residents are urged to call 2-1-1 for all non-emergency calls and visit www.sdcountyemergency.com for updates online.