County public health officials Tuesday urged residents in Central, South Central and Southeast Los Angeles County to limit outdoor exposure and physical exertion because of smoke from a warehouse fire in Maywood.
“We are also advising schools that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after-school sports, until conditions improve,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim Health Officer. “Non-school related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot, or ash, or where there is an odor of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas.”
Individuals with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory disease, should also follow the recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible even in areas where smoke, soot or ash cannot be seen or there is no odor of smoke, Gunzenhauser recommended.
“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” Gunzenhauser said.
Residents should also keep windows and doors closed and avoid using air conditioning units that only draw in air from the outside or that do not have a re-circulating option. If conditions at home are too hot, Gunzenhauser suggested going to a library or other public place to cool down.
The Department of Public Health also urged residents in affected areas not to leave pets outdoors, particularly at night. Both cats and dogs suffering from respiratory distress requiring medical care may pant or be unable to catch their breath, though cats’ symptoms are less noticeable.
— Wire reports