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Posted on: June 12, 2020

Take precautions to protect yourself from wildfire smoke

Tinder Fire Coconino NF Public Domain (4)

Coconino County health officials are encouraging individuals to take precautions to protect themselves from health effects of wildfire smoke from the Mangum Fire.

The fire is burning approximately 9 miles southwest of Jacob Lake and 16 miles north of the boundary with the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Smoke is visible from both the north and south rims of Grand Canyon National Park, Jacob Lake, Highway 67, Highway 89A, Fredonia, Kanab and Page.

Wildfire smoke is a mixture of small particles, gases and water vapor. The primary health concern is the small particles. Not everyone who is exposed to smoke will have health problems.  Many factors influence a person’s susceptibility to smoke. These factors include the level, extent, and duration of exposure, age, and individual susceptibility.

Anyone who can see, taste or smell smoke should curtail outdoor activity. People with heart disease, lung disease or asthma should avoid the outdoors entirely, as should children and the elderly.

Typical symptoms of exposure to smoke include burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Closing windows and turning off evaporative coolers when smoke is present helps to reduce exposure to the smoke and should be adequate to protect persons without respiratory problems.

People with pre-existing conditions should avoid exposure to the smoke as much as possible and consult their physician if they have any questions.

When smoke levels are high, the appropriate protective measures should be followed.

  • Stay inside with windows and doors closed when possible.
  • Make sure air conditioning units have a clean filter in the air intakes. Devices with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can reduce the indoor pollution.
  • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
  • Avoid activities that can increase pollutants indoors such as cooking and vacuuming.
  • Avoid physical exertion.

More information about how to protect yourself is available at http://www.coconino.az.gov/DocumentCenter/View/995.  



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