La Tuna Fire, Burbank, Sun Valley, Glendale, Los Angeles, fire, brush fire, air quality, health, health concerns

La Tuna Fire Raises Air Quality Concerns As Smoke and Ash Pour Across Sun Valley

SUN VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Health experts are advising residents in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys to stay indoors as toxic smoke and ash pour across the area from the La Tuna Fire.

Hundreds of firefighters continued to battle the blaze as it spread to more than 5,800 acres Sunday night.

LIVE UPDATES: LA TUNA FIRE

Audrey Brooks lives just feet from the fire and says she’s only left her house for a quick trip for gas and groceries. She’s trying to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid breathing in the smoke.

“It’s hard to breathe. I’m staying in the house. I don’t go outside. I just stay in the air-conditioning,” she said.

Dr. Daniel Kijner, of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, told CBS2/KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold that’s sound advice.

“The combustion from the fire leads to smoke which can be toxic to people’s lungs,” he said, adding that more people have been coming in to the emergency room the past few days, although he said it’s mostly from extreme heat.

Dr. Kijner advised people to stay inside as much as possible to avoid both the smoke and the heat.

“One of the things — if you are close to the fire — I would not recommend staying outdoors or playing outdoors if you have kids,” he said.

For the people living in the fire zone like Tony Fitzgerald, that’s easier said than done. The smoke can be overwhelming but everyone still needs groceries, so ventured outside to run errands despite the thick smoke.

“It’s pretty bad. I have been staying inside,” he said. “I don’t want to breathe in the smoke and have the ash go on my head.”

Doctors advise residents stay inside, keep the air-conditioning running, avoid any outdoor activities and to avoid the smoke and ash.

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