The Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires are an accumulated 118,000 acres in size. Even after the fire is contained interior, smoke will more than likely be visible from surrounding communities.

Wildfire smoke is a combination of burned vegetation, materials, and gases. When you take a breath in, that air goes straight to your respiratory system. “The biggest concern when it comes to air pollution are people who have respiratory problems,” said Dr. Keith Willmore.

Kassidy Harding has exercise induced asthma. “Even like walking to campus, I’ve had where I get out of breath up the stairs,” she said. She said that since the fires she has had chest pain and headaches more frequently.

“Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve definitely seen those come in that have asthma that have had to start using their inhalers more often. In those cases, we recommend they stay indoors, try to avoid the exposure. For most of us the symptoms we’re gonna get from the smokey exposure will be more like allergies,” said Dr. Keith Willmore.

That would be a stuffy and runny nose, and scratchy sore throat.

Dr. Willmore said it’s okay to run outside, but probably not ideal. Even if you’re an athlete training for a marathon, you might find that you’re short of breath. “Is it causing any significant harm or damage?” asked Dr. Willmore, “Not that we know of.”

In terms of recommendations on staying healthy, Dr. Willmore said that flu season will be worse this year, so make sure to get a flu shot.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email