Wildfire season is upon us here in Siskiyou County, and we here at the Public Health Department strive to cultivate healthy communities and keep our community safe and out of harms way as much as humanly possible. Here are a few tips in helping to protect you during these extreme fire conditions.
Eight Tips for Protecting Yourself from Breathing Wildfire Smoke
If possible, limit your exposure to smoke. Here are eight tips to help you protect your health:
- Pay attention to local air quality reports. When a wildfire occurs in your area, watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Pay attention to public health messages and take extra safety measures such as avoiding spending time outdoors.
- Pay attention to visibility guides if they are available. Although not every community measures the amount of particles in the air, some communities in the western United States have guidelines to help people estimate air quality based on how far they can see.
- If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.
- Use an air filter. Use a freestanding indoor air filter with particle removal to help protect people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions and the elderly and children from the effects of wildfire smoke. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on filter replacement and where to place the device.
- Do not add to indoor pollution. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles and fireplaces. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke tobacco or other products, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
- Follow your doctor's advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
- Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper "comfort" or "dust" masks commonly found at hardware stores trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. An “N95” mask, properly worn, will offer some protection.
- Avoid smoke exposure during outdoor recreation. Wildfires and prescribed burns—fires that are set on purpose to manage land—can create smoky conditions. Before you travel to a park or forest, check to see if any wildfires are happening or if any prescribed burns are planned.
Public Health Division Mission Statement
To promote and improve the health and wellness of the people of Siskiyou County through community empowerment and meaningful partnerships.
Public Health Division Vision Statement
The goal of Siskiyou County Public Health Division is to promote individual and community wellness, effectively monitor and evaluate health status, and develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts. It is our goal to accomplish this through confidential and respectful services, health education, prevention and outreach.
What is Public Health?
Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.
The 10 Essential Public Health Services
The 10 Essential Public Health Services describe the public health activities that all communities should undertake and serve as the framework for the NPHPS instruments. Public health systems should:
Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
It is that time of year again for the Siskiyou Golden Fair in Yreka! Many families look forward to the fair all year long. But when you and your family are heading out to enjoy the experience, it’s a good idea to take some precautions to beat the heat, the crowds and any other safety hazard you may encounter.
By keeping the following safety tips in mind, you and your family should have a safe and fun fair-going experience!
Six State Fair Safety Tips:
1. Get plenty to drink and be sure to stay hydrated on hot days.
2. Keep a watchful eye on children. It's easy to become separated in large crowds
3. Obey minimum height, age and weight restrictions for all rides and activities
4. Park as safely as possible by choosing a well-lit spot. Stay close to other groups while walking to and from the event.
*USE A BUDDY SYSTEM*
5. Be sure to wash your hands after petting any animals
6. Wear Light Clothing and Sunscreen
Choose lightweight, light- colored, loose-fitting clothing. In the hot sun, a wide-brimmed hat will keep the head cool. If you will be in direct sun, use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and follow package directions. Reapply every 2 hours while in the sun.