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Rim fire smoke poses local air quality threat

POSTED August 27, 2013 11:01 p.m.

The Yosemite-area Rim fire has prompted local air officials to issue a health cautionary statement for smoke impacts at various locations in the Valley through the weekend.

The fire, located in and around northern Yosemite National Park, is sending smoke into the Valley in eastern Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

“As always, the best rule of thumb for residents is that if you can see and smell smoke, take appropriate precautions,” said Samir Sheikh, the Air District’s director of air quality analysis.

Smoke from fires produces fine-particulate matter, which can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions.

Residents can check the nearest air monitor to their location to determine localized air-quality conditions. Visit the Real-time Air Advisory Network page on the District’s website to subscribe for free at http://www.valleyair.org/Programs/RAAN/raan_landing.htm. Updated fire information is available at http://www.inciweb.org/

 

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