FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Smoke, haze, and the smell of ash in the air. That’s what has come of the Central Valley after the numerous wildfires burning throughout the state.
Heather Heinks with the Valley Air District said we can expect these conditions for quite some time.
“We do have a health caution in place and we always advice when we put those out that the smoke impacts will likely stay until the fires are extinguished,” said Heinks.
Heinks said Fresno County’s air quality is currently unhealthy for all and because of that she said people should limit their time outside.
“Literally shows a blanket of smoke covering the whole Valley. So, expect that to continue for a few days and maybe alter your plans and outdoor activities,” said Heinks.
Heinks said being outside for a prolonged time may cause a scratchy throat, tightness in the chest, and sometimes a cough.
Dr. Geetanjali Srivastava with Valley Children’s Hospital said it can sometimes get tricky when trying to tell the difference between COVID and exposure to bad air quality in her patients.
“It’s really hard for a physician to know if these symptoms are from an infectious disease or if it is from exposure from poor air quality. So, we will just spend some time with the family asking if they have been outdoors or if they have been exposed to COVID or if they have a fever,” said Srivastava.
Dr. Srivastava said if they do determine the patient is just suffering from unhealthy air conditions, they recommend wearing a mask when outdoors to protect them from coronavirus but also from the poor air quality.
“Because the mask you are wearing is going to filter out the bad air particles from the mask and of course the smaller particles that can cause COVID as well,” said Srivastava.