Western wildfires cast haze on parts of South Dakota

Western wildfires cast haze on parts of South Dakota

11 August 2007

published by www.rapidcityjournal.com

South Dakota, USA — Smoke from several large fires in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming has caused concerns for a number of South Dakota residents, according to the Northern Great Plains Interagency Dispatch.

Dispatch officials said Saturday they had received several calls from people concerned with heavy smoke throughout South Dakota being pushed by westerly winds.

Although air quality is generally the worst near large fires, smoke from very large fires such as those in Montana can last for a long time and travel long distances, dispatch officials said. They added that to determine the source of smoke, South Dakota residents can go to the National Weather Service Web site at http://www.firedetect.noaa.gov/viewer.htm.

People with asthma, bronchitis, heart or lung disease have an increased health risk from smoke. 

Those suffering from such ailments should avoid breathing smoke by staying inside and limiting your exposure outdoors. Consult your doctor for specific advice on smoke-related effects such as scratchy throat, cough, irritated sinuses, headaches, runny nose and stinging eyes. 

Protect children and animals by limiting their exposure to smoke as much as possible. 

For more information, contact your public health center or health care professionals.

To learn more about wildfire smoke, go to http://www.deq.state.mt.us/FireUpdates/WildfireSmokeGuide.pdf.

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