Smoke blankets central Nevada | NevadaAppeal.com

Smoke blankets central Nevada

LVN News Service

Threatening more than 1,500 structures and triggering evacuations in town after town Wednesday, California's Detwiler Fire is causing air quality advisories in Northern Nevada as smoke continues to push into the region.

The smoke has Fallon under an "Unhealthy" air quality warning, according to the Airnow.gov.

Located in Mariposa County and burning west of Yosemite National Park, the fire reached 45,724 acres Wednesday afternoon, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fire ignited Sunday east of Lake McClure, was only 7 percent contained and destroyed eight structures, according to Cal Fire.

Meanwhile, no injuries have been reported but more than 4,000 people in communities nearby are under evacuation orders as the fire burns in steep terrain with dense vegetation, with 2,208 fire crews on scene.

The density of the smoke is similar to a fog.

A blanket of it has been in the valleys since 3 a.m. Wednesday, on top of high pressure inversion and southwest winds.

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This also causes cooler morning temperatures, as it delays heat from the sun hitting the ground.

NWS said there isn't a chance for rain or thunderstorms due to lack of moisture.

With that, the stale smoke that's been hanging out in the region for the last day or so is expected to cause some irritating side effects to one's health.

"When there's a particular matter in the air, that can impact people with lung issues or asthma," said Dustin Boothe, epidemiologist of Carson City Heath & Human Services. "It can also affect people who don't have lung issues. There's still coughing and difficulty to breathe because of the quantity."

This goes the same for pets; if it's unhealthy for owners, it's best to keep them indoors until conditions improve.

Both CCHHS and the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority are advising precautionary instructions on dealing with the unhealthy air quality conditions: avoid outdoor activities, change air filters and keep the air conditioner recirculating, consider wearing a handkerchief or a bandana for moist protection, and don't add to indoor pollution such as burning candles.

If respiratory conditions persist or there's an increase of breathing difficulties, call 9-1-1.

What to DO during wildfire smoke events

Stay indoors with windows and doors closed; run air-conditioner on “recirculate” setting. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

Minimize the use of swamp coolers. If it becomes too warm indoors, individuals may consider leaving the area to seek alternative shelter.

Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves.

Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.

Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

If you evacuate, make sure you take all essential medications along with you.

Do not rely on dust masks or N95 respirators for protection. If you wish to wear something, use a wet handkerchief or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. The key – keep it moist.

When driving make sure to drive with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on “recirculate.”

Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise, during smoky conditions.

People who must spend time outdoors should drink plenty of fluids.

Additionally, pet owners should consider bringing their pets indoors out of the unhealthy air conditions, if possible. This is especially important for older pets.

Carson City Health and Human Services

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