By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– People who live or work near the areas affected by the Etiwanda fire near Rancho Cucamonga in western San Bernardino are urged to stay alert to changing smoke levels. Smoke production from the fire has been high at times with winds of 70 mph to 80 mph reported. Cities that may experience Unhealthy air quality include: Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Ontario, Chino and Chino Hills.
Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer with the County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health today advised sensitive groups including young children, the elderly, and those with lung or heart ailments, to avoid prolonged or heavy activity. The general public should also limit activities that require prolonged exposure and strenuous exercise or sports participation. Residents should seek medical attention if they have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness or shortness of breath. This is important for not only those with chronic lung or heart disease, but also for people who have not been previously diagnosed with such illnesses. Smoke can “unmask” or produce symptoms of such diseases.
Even healthy people can have some of these symptoms in smoky conditions, as well as scratchy throat, headaches, stinging eyes, and runny nose. There are some ways you can protect your health. If you are advised to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor air from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter in a cool place like a mall or senior center.
For more information about wildfire health and safety, go to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/. To get local public health guidance, go to the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph.