North Dakotans advised to avoid prolonged outdoor activity, take protective measures,
BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR) – The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality is advising residents to take precautions due to unhealthy levels of smoke caused by wildfires in Canada.
Officials say to “use common sense and avoid prolonged exposure outdoors.” Children, the elderly, people with heart or lung disease are particularly susceptible to ash particles and should take extra precautions.
Elevated smoke levels can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, emphysema or COPD. Smoke can also irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a dry scratchy throat, and irritated sinuses.
The department says:
If you see or smell smoke, protect your health by avoiding exposure:
· If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside.
· Reduce outside physical activity.
· Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.
What you should do depends on the air quality index and your personal health status. Due to the active wildfires and changing wind patterns, air quality can be variable and unpredictable. Air quality may improve at times or get worse very quickly.