5/15/2014 01:40 PM PDT

Tips to Reduce Exposure to Smoke, Particulate Matter

Smoke-impacted areas near the fires in San Diego County are the only areas of the county expected to have air quality considered less than moderate or good today, according to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District.  In areas near the fires, elevated levels of particulate matter may result in unhealthy air quality conditions, and affected individuals are advised to take steps to reduce their exposure to the smoke.


The effects of smoke and particulate matter range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to difficulty breathing, particularly for those who have chronic lung diseases, 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.

Tips to reduce smoke and particulate matter exposure include:

-Stay indoors if you have not been asked to evacuate.

-Reduce physical activity outdoors.

-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.

If you need emergency assistance in evacuation, call 9-1-1.

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