County issues ‘unhealthy’ air quality alert

Lassen County issued a countywide unhealthy air quality alert at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19 due to smoke from the Sheep Fire burning near Susanville.

According to a statement from the county, “Smoke levels in this/these areas have been classified as unhealthy. Everyone may begin to experience health effects, (and) members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

“All individuals, especially the elderly, young children, pregnant women, those with lung or hear disease and anyone with sensitivities to air pollution should avoid outdoor activities until further notice.

Residents may monitor air quality in real time directly by accessing the Air Now website at: fire.airnow.gov/.

The department advises smoke has harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing and difficulty breathing. Everyone should take precautions to avoid smoke exposure.

  • Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercises.
  • Stay indoors with windows and doors closed.
  • Do not run swamp coolers or fans that bring in outside air.

People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include those with chronic lung disease (such as asthma) and/or heart disease, young children, pregnant women and older adults. If you have symptoms that may have been worsened by smoke exposure, contact your health care provider immediately.

Those symptoms include:

  • Repeated cough.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing, and
  • Chest tightness or pain.

For more information, call Lassen County Public Health at 251-8183 or visit the Lassen County Air Pollution District at lassenair.org.