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    Wildfire Smoke impacting Yavapai County

    Wildfire Smoke from Northern AZ Fires Impacts Yavapai County

    Today, AZ Department of EQ is forecasting smoke to disperse toward the southwest, with light to moderate smoke impacts possible in Paulden, Chino Valley, and Prescott. There is a chance for brief heavy impacts in these areas, especially if cloud cover moves over, allowing smoke to drop closer to the ground. Overnight, smoke is forecast to drain into the Verde Valley once again, as well as continue moving toward the west-southwest.  

    Early mornings are usually the worst time for wildfire smoke. As temperatures warm during the day, there are stronger winds which disperses smoke. As temperatures cool at night, winds generally calm down and smoke settles to the ground, flowing from higher elevations to lower elevations, much like a water. However, smoke can deviate from this typical pattern depending on weather conditions.

    If you can see less than 5 miles, the air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma, or other respiratory illness; they should minimize outdoor activity. These people should reschedule outdoor recreational activities to a day with better air quality. It is okay for adults in good health to be out and about, but they should periodically check visibility and reduce strenuous outside activities, especially when fires are nearby.

    Protect yourself from wildfire smoke:

    ·         Reduce time spent outdoors when smoke is present.

    ·         Use an indoor high-efficiency air filter (HEPA) or electrostatic precipitator in your home to help create one or more rooms with cleaner air to breathe.

    ·         Set your A/C or heating unit to recycle or recirculate when at home or in your car.

    ·         Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

    ·         Reduce other sources of indoor smoke and dust, including burning cigarettes, candles, gas or propane ranges, wood burning stoves and furnaces, and vacuuming.

    ·         If you have heart or lung disease or respiratory illnesses such as asthma, follow your health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

    Who is at greatest risk from wildfire smoke?

    • People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
    • Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
    • Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Children’s airways are still developing, and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.

    The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office now utilizes CodeRED® as its Emergency Notification System. With this service, we can send messages to residents and businesses within minutes with specific information when an emergency or time-sensitive issue arises.  This is an essential service especially during a wildfire.  Sign up here: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/A45C10E5EC0F

     

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    Terri Farneti

    Public Health Coordinator
    Yavapai County Community Health Services
    928-442-5596
    www.yavapai.us/chs

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