San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare advises county residents with sensitive health conditions who live near areas affected by the Bluecut fire to stay alert to changing smoke levels and be prepared to act accordingly.
Smoky conditions can be hazardous for young children, the elderly, individuals with heart conditions or chronic lung disease such as asthma and bronchitis, and individuals with other respiratory ailments. Older adults and children should remain indoors, keep windows and doors closed or seek alternate shelter.
Individuals with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung or heart diseases should make sure they have at least a five-day supply of medication on hand. Individuals with asthma should consult their physician about an asthma management plan and stick to it during unusually smoky conditions. Listen for radio and television messages about fires in your area.
It is recommended that air-conditioning be run on a "re-circulation" function. If smoke is present, it will be easier to breathe indoors if air is re-circulating instead of drawing smoky air from outdoors. People should contact their doctor if they have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue. This is important for not only people with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for individuals who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can "unmask" or produce symptoms of such diseases.
Because of the uncertainty of fire conditions, Dr. Ohikhuare advises residents near the fires to be prepared.
For more information regarding the Blue Cut Fire call USFS Public/Media Information Line: 909-383-5688 or visit their website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov. For smoke-related questions, residents are urged to contact their primary care provider or the Public Health, Health Centers at 1800-722-4777.
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