San Bernardino County Interim Health Officer Dr. Gustafson advises county residents who live near areas affected by the El Dorado Fire to stay alert to changing smoke levels and be prepared to act accordingly.
Smoky conditions can be hazardous for young children, the elderly, individuals with heart conditions or chronic lung disease such as asthma and bronchitis, and individuals with other respiratory ailments. Older adults and children should remain indoors, keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter.
Individuals with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung or heart diseases should make sure they have at least a five-day supply of medication on hand. Individuals with asthma should consult their physician about an asthma management plan and stick to it during unusually smoky conditions. Listen for radio and television messages about fires in your area.
It is recommended that air-conditioning be run on a “recirculation” function. If smoke is present, it will be easier to breathe indoors if air is recirculating instead of drawing smoky air from outdoors. People should contact their doctor if they have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath or severe fatigue. This is important not only for people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can “unmask” or produce symptoms of such diseases.
The Health Officer has not advised businesses or other operations to close or release staff. They should, however, stay alert to local conditions and take appropriate action based on the Health Advisory.
For more information regarding the El Dorado Fire, visit the CAL FIRE website at https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2020/9/5/el-dorado-fire. For health-related questions regarding smoke from the fire, please contact your primary care provider or the San Bernardino County Public Health’s Health Centers at 1-800-722-4777.