Crazy headline, right?
How about this: “Another 300 firefighters have joined the massive effort to extinguish the Rim fire near Yosemite National Park that has burned more than 192,000 acres.” (LA Times).If you don’t live on the American west coast, newsflash: There’s a HUGE fire in Yosemite National Park (central California) that’s been burning for two weeks.
Burning is probably too modest of a word. It’s charred through almost 200,000 acres – an area larger than Chicago.
The smoke and ash is covering the skies of neighboring cities – like my office in Zephyr Cove, Nevada (South Lake Tahoe).
Yeah, it stinks and it’s ruining the air quality here, so I can only imagine how it is in closer cities.
As you may know, I received my masters in Exercise Physiology, so health is priority #1 for my family and I. More than likely, it’s yours, too.
So for those of you in the area, here are 3 helpful tips on
reducing your exposure to the smoke and staying healthy!
- Stay indoors. It really is the best option. Being inside any building will reduce the concentration of the smoke. And keep your windows rolled up please. No sense in trying to be cool when the air is filled with ash. It’s also best to reduce any outdoor recreational activities.
- Wear a mask to reduce inhalation of the smoke. An N-95 respirator mask can be purchased at local hardware stores. This mask will filter the smoke particles out of the air. Regular surgical and/or dust masks will not filter the smoke out of the air. Yeah, it may look funny, but what’s more important: perception or your health? Also, if you have a condition that already restricts breathing (such as asthma, COPD, bronchitis, etc.) you should check with your doctor before wearing any type of mask, as it further restricts your breathing activities.
- Coughing? Get it checked out. If you’re suffering any health issues you think the smoke may have caused, visit your doctor and get evaluated. Too many times we brush things off and keep on rolling (I’m pretty bad at this myself), but the last thing you want to do is ignore an illness that may be a result of the poor air. Better to get it checked out, be sure, and save yourself a hospital bed vacation due to your negligence. When in doubt, check it out.
I’m preaching all of these things to my kids, so you better believe I’m passing them along to you.
Breathe safe & here’s to the firefighters out there battling the flames!