PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Air quality has been deemed “unhealthy” for areas of Clark County as the Nakia Creek Fire burning northwest of Camas continues to spread. According to fire officials, the fire is now 1,565 acres in size and 5% contained.
Air quality in Clark County currently ranges from moderate in Vancouver to unhealthy in the northern half of the county, according to the state’s Air Monitoring Network. With that said, an air quality advisory has been extended until Thursday evening.
Clark County Public Health is asking residents to monitor the local air quality regularly and take measures to protect their health. These precautions include limiting time outside, avoiding strenuous outdoor activity and the following tips for cleaner indoor air:
Steps to improve indoor air quality:
- Keep windows and doors closed
- Create a cleaner-air room in the home using a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter
- Choose a room with no fireplace and few windows and doors
- Turn the air conditioner in the home and vehicle to recirculate to avoid bringing smoky outdoor air inside
- Don’t pollute indoor air
- Avoid burning candles, using aerosol products, frying food and smoking
- Do not vacuum unless using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Seek indoor shelter or public places with monitored air quality if air in the home cannot be improved
- Use and properly wear respiratory masks labeled N95
The people that are most susceptible to health problems caused by poor air quality are children, adults older than 65, people who smoke, people with heart and lung ailments, people with respiratory infections or colds, pregnant women and people who have suffered strokes.
“Public Health also recommends keeping children indoors and canceling children’s outdoor athletic events and activities when air quality is unhealthy,” CCPH stated. “Schools, child care facilities, before and after school programs and youth sports programs should refer to state Department of Health guidance for protecting the health of children when air is smoky. Organizers of outdoor public events should also consider canceling events when air is unhealthy.”
Smoke-related health problems can vary from minor irritations to life-threatening complications. The CCPH states that symptoms of poor air-quality exposure include sore throat, headaches, burning eyes, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.