Our good neighbor Placer County has offered the following link with information on the Wildfire Smoke issues that Amador is also facing. Here are two links that we believe will assist you in decision making during this time.
Placer Air Quality Link take you to the Placer Air Quality page concerning wildfires and smoke. A considerable amount of timely information can be seen here.
Additional good information can be found at the California Smoke Info Blog that we were directed to while researching information on the smokey foothills. We think that you will also find this site educational and informative.
Since smoke levels are ever-changing, the following index is useful in judging the levels near you on a continual basis.
Good (can see 10 miles or more) - No cautionary statements.
Moderate (can see 5-10 miles) - Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (can see 3-5 miles) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy (can see 1½-3 miles) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy (can see 1-1½ mile) - People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Hazardous (can see 1 mile or less) - Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.
In addition to using the visual guide, residents are encouraged to protect themselves and to seek medical treatment, if experiencing uncontrolled coughing, wheezing, or choking, or if breathing difficulty does not subside indoors.
The following information is from the American Lung Association.
Forest Fires and Respiratory Health Fact Sheet
Wildfires are an ongoing concern where there is dry, hot weather. During a wildfire, people throughout the surrounding area may suffer the effects of forest fire smoke. If you have respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis or a chronic heart disease, we urge you to monitor your breathing and exposure to airborne matter. If problems develop call your physician immediately.
- Stay indoors: People living in close proximity to the fire-stricken areas should remain indoors and avoid inhalation of smoke, ashes and particulate matter in the area.
- Don't count on a dust mask: Ordinary dust masks, designed to filter out large particles, will not help as they still allow the more dangerous smaller particles to pass through. Special, more expensive dust masks with true HEPA filters will filter out the damaging fine particles, but are difficult for people with lung disease to use. Consult with your physician before using a mask, especially if you have a lung disease.
- Don't exercise outside: If you live close to or in the surrounding area, it's recommended that you refrain from exercising outdoors, especially if you smell smoke or notice eye or throat irritation.
- Take precautions for kids: Extra precaution should be taken for children, who are more susceptible to smoke because their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe in more air (and consequently more pollution) per pound of body mass than adults.
- Roll up your car windows: When driving your car in smoky areas, keep your windows and vents closed. Air conditioning should only be operated in the "recirculate" setting.
- Put air conditioners on recirculate: Stay inside as much as possible, with doors, windows and fireplace dampers shut and preferably with clean air circulating through air conditioners and air cleaners. Use air conditioners on the recirculation setting so outside air will not be moved into the room.
If You Have Respiratory Problems or Chronic Heart Disease
- Keep an eye on symptoms: Due to the higher levels of pollutants in some areas, there is a possibility of experiencing increased symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms, please try to contact your physician. If you cannot, asthma patients can follow the asthma action plan developed with their physician. Use your peak flow meter if prescribed. Do not hesitate to take your medication, and avail yourself of the full spectrum of medications your doctor has prescribed to you.
- Check in with your doctor: People with asthma should check with their physician regarding any changes in medication that may be needed to cope with the smoky conditions.
- Ask about your oxygen use: People using oxygen should not adjust their levels of intake before consulting a physician. (Call your doctor BEFORE you take any action.)
- Know when to seek medical attention: If pulmonary symptoms are not relieved by the usual medicines, seek medical attention. Symptoms to watch for: wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty taking a full breath, chest heaviness, light headedness, and dizziness. If you have any concerns or questions please contact your physician.
- Watch for breathing issues after exposure: If you develop a persistent cough, or difficult or painful breathing, call your physician. The onset of symptoms can appear as late as 24 to 48 hours after exposure and that smoke can remain in areas for many days after the fires have ended.
(Source: American Lung Association)
Here is a link to their site. American Lung Association