Here are a few tips for your health as the southern peninsula gets more smoke from the Swan Lake fire:
The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, these populations are at greatest risk from wildfire smoke:
- People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, chest pain, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
- Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
- Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke as children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults do.
If you are healthy, you’re usually not at a major risk from short-term exposures to smoke. Still, it is a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it and use common sense. If it looks smoky outside, it’s probably not a good time to mow the lawn or go for a run. And it’s probably not a good time for your children to play outdoors.
Use these links for additional health information related to smoke:
- Fires and Your Health: https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/fires-and-your-health
- Health & Smoke Questions and Answers: https://dec.alaska.gov/air/smoke-faq/
Here are some smoke prediction sites to help with planning activities and decision making:
- NOAA Air Quality Forecast: https://airquality.weather.gov/sectors/alaska.php?period=1#tabs
- A.F. Smoke Predictor: http://smoke.alaska.edu/PM25.html