LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The South Coast Air Quality Management District Friday issued a smoke advisory for all of Orange County and portions of Los Angeles and Riverside counties.
Air quality may reach the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range or higher in some areas of the Southland due to southerly winds pushing smoke from multiple fires burning in San Diego County, officials said.
“It’s awful, can’t breathe. You feel suffocated, that’s how I feel, suffocated. This air is terrible; can’t go outside, inside it’s just as bad,” emphysema patient Maria Hernandez said after being admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital for respiratory issues.
The advisory also applies to healthy individuals.
“Everyone’s susceptible to smoke, and they can feel irritation in the eyes, the throat, and it can impact their breathing,” said Dr. Eric Handler of the O.C. Health Care Agency.
Handler says children are especially vulnerable and parents should limit their outdoor activity.
Elevated particulate emissions and smoke odors from the fires could impact all of Orange County; central, northwest and coastal areas of Los Angeles County and the Lake Elsinore and Temecula Valley areas of Riverside County.
Depending on fire and weather conditions, other areas of the Southland may also experience smoke and smoke odors.
SCAQMD gave the following suggestions:
- Avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion.
- Those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
- Keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter.
- Run your air conditioner if you have one, but make sure it’s on “circulation” mode so air isn’t being sucked in from the outside.
- Do not use a swamp cooler or whole-house fan to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
- To avoid worsening the health effects of wildfire smoke, don’t use indoor or outdoor wood-burning appliances, including fireplaces.
To view current air quality conditions by region, click here.