Brush fire smoke reaches unhealthy level in South Florida

Brush fire smoke reaches unhealthy level in South Florida

16 June 2011

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USA — Air quality in Palm Beach County has reached unhealthy levels as a west wind blows smoke from brushfires burning inland.

The Air Quality Index was listed at 137 late Thursday morning, which is in the unhealthy to sensitive groups range, and was forecast to reach unhealthy for all groups before the end of the day. The forecast calls for improved conditions Friday.

The smoke is coming from wildfires burning in the area. The Palm Beach County Health Department is advising people sensitive to smoke, especially those with respiratory and heart issues, to limit their outdoor activities.

Smoke is a respiratory irritant, and can cause scratchy throat, irritated eyes, nose and worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions. Avoid prolonged outdoor activities. Stay indoors and run your air conditioner, if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioning with re-circulated air.

If you don’t have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in the region’s extremely hot weather. Seek alternative shelter with air conditioning.

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