U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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Monday, August 20, 2007, 3 pm

Contact: Lisa Ortega (702)683-9618 or
Mike Brown (775)753-0386,
or (775) 748-4000

What To Do When Smoke is Present

Fire Season 2007 has brought a lot of smoke, ash, dust, and reduced visibility to Elko County. During wildfires, smoke can drift into towns and cities, affecting air quality and making it hard for some people to breathe.

“We’ve had many inquiries the past week about what’s been causing the smoky and hazy conditions in Elko and Spring Creek,” said Bureau of Land Management Fire Prevention Specialist Dylan Rader. “The causes lately are due to fires in Idaho and Oregon, and windy conditions stirring up dust and ash from fires earlier this summer. But people are also concerned with how to deal with the smoke.”

Rader added that the following hints will help people know what to do and what not to do during these conditions.

1. Children, seniors and people with chronic respiratory problems should stay indoors.

2. Keep windows closed. Run air conditioners inside the house and car. Air conditioners filter out dust and particles.

3. If this is not a possibility, it is recommended to stay with a friend or relative who has one.

4. Reduce physical activities. This will lower the dose of inhaled pollutants and minimize health risks during a smoke event.

5. Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution. Burning cigarettes, gas, propane and wood burning stoves and furnaces and activities such as cooking, burning candles and incense and vacuuming can greatly increase the particle levels in a home and should be avoided when wildfire smoke is present.

6. Room air cleaners are good to have during smoke emergencies. Make sure that it is a true air cleaner and not a humidifier. If you choose to purchase one, do so before a smoke emergency occurs to avoid having to go to the store and breathing the smoke.

7. Wearing air masks and bandanas are not recommended. Masks and bandanas provide little, if any protection. They are uncomfortable and may make breathing difficult.

For more information, visit: www.arb.ca.gov/pubeduc/wfgv8.pdf
Fire restrictions remain in effect for all public lands in northeastern Nevada and all open burning is banned in Elko County.

To report wildfires call (775) 738-FIRE, (775) 748-4000, or 911.

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Last updated: 04-07-2008