A hay fire burning in Escalon has prompted local air officials to issue a health cautionary statement for smoke impacts throughout southeastern San Joaquin County and northeastern Stanislaus County until the fire is extinguished. While measures were taken to contain the fire, smoke is impacting parts of Oakdale and Riverbank, and may reach other area communities into Saturday.
Smoke from fires produces fine-particulate matter (PM2.5), which can cause serious health problems including lung disease, asthma attacks and increased risk of heart attacks and stroke. Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions. If possible, individuals should remove themselves from areas where there are direct smoke impacts.
People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effects from these pollutants. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctors’ orders when exposed to fire emissions.
Residents can check the District’s wildfire page at www.valleyair.org/wildfires for information about any current wildfires and whether they are impacting the Valley.
For more information, visit www.valleyair.org or call a District office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (209-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-381-1809).