SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Firefighters are attempting to contain multiple wildfires across California. The kicking up a lot of smoke into the air and it's wafting well beyond the fire area.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tips on how people can protect themselves from wildfire smoke.
Check local air quality reports and visibility guides
The CDC said to listen and watch for news reports about smoke. Some communities even have monitors that measure the amount of particulate matter in the air.
Many hardware and repair stores and pharmacies carry air respirators. The CDC recommends buying a "particulate respirator" that the National Insitute of Occupational Safety and Health has tested and approved. The words "NIOSH" and either "N95" or "P100" should be on it.
Do not rely on dust masks for protection
According to the CDC, people should not use a dust mask for protection. Those masks are designed to trap large particles like sawdust and they do not protect the lungs from small particles that are found in wildfire smoke, the CDC said. Click here to learn how to choose respirators.
Stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities
Keep your windows and doors closed if you are advised to remain inside, the CDC said. Experts also recommend residents run an air conditioner, but to keep the air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
The CDC said to go to a shelter if you do not have an air conditioner and your home is getting too hot. Avoid burning candles, fireplaces or gas stoves, which can increase indoor air pollution, according to the CDC. Smoking will also add pollution to the air.
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