La. residents urged to take precautions as wildfires impact air quality
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana residents are being urged to take precautions as wildfires continue to burn, impacting air quality for people in the state.
One of the largest wildfires, the Tiger Island Fire, is burning north of Lake Charles, and authorities believe it may be the largest in Louisiana history.
While no major fires are burning in the immediate Baton Rouge area, officials said that smoke drifted into the capital region on Sunday morning, August 27.
Because of the fires and smoke that has drifted, a person can experience smoke inhalation and other issues.
Experts said the people most at-risk include those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, people with heart diseases, people with lung diseases, older adults with chronic health problems, children, and people who smoke. However, health experts said smoke can even have a negative impact on young, healthy adults.
The Louisiana Department of Health released the below tips for people to stay safe:
- Evacuate from the area if you are threatened by fire.
- Pay attention to local air quality reports and stay alert to any news coverage or health warnings.
- If there is an air quality advisory, stay indoors and try to minimize the intrusion of smoke. Keep the windows and doors closed.
- Do not go outside if there is a large amount of smoke outdoors.
- If possible, keep an air conditioner’s fresh air intake closed and ensure the filter is clean.
- If you do not have air conditioning, seek out a local shelter and/or cooling center.
- Air filters and purifiers can help reduce particle levels indoors. The type and size of the air purifiers should fit the size of the room or house.
- Dust masks do not provide protection and will not protect from the smaller particles.
- Check on your loved ones and neighbors, especially older adults.
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