For Immediate Release:
July 23, 2016
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, smoke from the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita has caused poor air quality that affects all individuals in the following areas:
The Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, urges all individuals in these areas, or areas where there is visible smoke or the odor of smoke, to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and to limit physical exertion (whether indoor or outdoor), such as exercise. As the situation continues to evolve, the advisory may extend into other areas.
Individuals should take precautions to protect themselves, especially during this time because of the combination of the fire, smoke, and the heat alert current in effect. Residents who may lose power due to the fire, especially the elderly or individuals with sensitive health conditions, are advised not to shelter in place, but instead they should take advantage of their local cooling center.
For a list of Cooling Centers and information on heat- related illnesses and prevention, please visit the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov , or call the LA County Information line at 2-1-1 from any landline or cell phone within the county. To locate the nearest cooling center, go to http://bit.ly/BeatTheHeat2016. Call your local Cooling Center for hours of operation.
"We are also advising schools that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after-school sports, until conditions improve," said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH. “Non-school related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot, or ash, or where there is an odor of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas.”
Throughout LA County, especially in these areas, sensitive individuals, such as those with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease, should follow these recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot, or ash cannot be seen or there is no odor of smoke. "It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health," said Dr. Gunzenhauser. People can participate in indoor sports or other strenuous activity in areas with visible smoke, soot, or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside, and it has closed windows and doors to protect the cleanliness of indoor air. If not, it is recommended that all individuals follow these guidelines as if they were outside. The following recommendations will help you protect yourself and your family from harmful effects of bad air quality:
The following is recommended for pets:
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.