LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — For several days now, skies across Southern California have been filled with smoke and officials have been warning residents to stay inside as much as possible.
Unhealthy air quality is expected in parts of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties through Saturday, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
In some areas, there is visible ash and soot on houses and cars.
Jessica Mitchell, a water and fire cleanup manager with Servpro said wiping away the soot with wet towels or rags could make things worse.
Mitchell said as dirty as everything may be, wiping down the oily residue could cause the oil to embed in paint and porous surfaces.
For now, she says to wipe things down with a dry cloth and filtering the air in your home. She recommends saving the heavy duty cleaning for when everything clears up.
“The smoke might be in the air for longer than the fire itself,” Mitchell said.
Keep an eye out for alerts about the air quality, and for people who suffer from lung or heart issues, it’s especially important to stay inside with windows and doors closed. Others are encouraged to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and follow guidance from health officials.