Carson City air quality in unhealthy range
August 4, 2018
The smoke drifted back into the region Friday afternoon and stuck around on Saturday morning. Carson City residents woke up to unhealthy air quality.
A Red Flag Warning has been issued until Saturday evening for NE California & Western Nevada. This is a Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) w/extremely low humidity and high winds. New fires will grow rapidly out of control, and in some cases people may not be able to evacuate safely, the National Weather Service in Reno said.
The smoke has caused a slight increase in patient volumes due to respiratory concerns linked to the "hazardous" air quality caused by the wildfires at Carson Tahoe Health, according to a Wednesday media release.
CTH has taken steps to prepare and protect patients and staff within its facilities.
Precautions include consolidating entrances at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center (CTRMC) and Carson Tahoe Specialty Medical Center (CTSMC), the release said.
CTH has adjusted the air handlers that feed these inpatient areas to maximize air filtration and equipped the facilities with air scrubbers to maintain good air quality.
CTH recommends community members:
Refrain from exercising outdoors
Keep hydrated to suppress a cough and help prevent smoky air from settling in lungs
Limit use of vacuums or gas stoves
Keep windows and doors closed, and use air conditioning if possible to help filter air throughout the house
When driving your car in smoky areas, keep your windows and vents closed, make sure it's set to re-circulate so you're not bringing in outside air.
What Should You Be Doing?
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.
Don't add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, don't use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don't vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Don't 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.
Don't 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.
Stay tuned to local radio and TV for emergency announcements about air quality.
Stay in touch with family and friends, especially if you live alone. Exercise your communications plan.
To keep up-to-date on the status of the air quality in Carson City, check: https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&mapcenter=0&cityid=819
For information on the health implications of wildfires, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/index.html.