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Thursday July 31st 2014

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State Issues Debris-Fire Health Advisory

The Florida Department of Health has issued a health advisory pertaining to the fire at an Escambia County landfill. Here is the DOH press release:

HEALTH ADVISORY – ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA RESIDENTS MAY BE AT INCREASED RISK FOR HEALTH PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH SMOKE FROM AREA DEBRIS FIRE

PENSACOLA, FL. –  The Florida Departmentof Health in Escambia County has been informed that a debris fire has been identified in the Ensley area of Escambia County, Florida.  Although contained, the fire continues to produce large amounts of smoke.

Smoke is a respiratory irritant that can cause scratchy throat or irritated eyes and nose.  Smoke can also worsen conditions such as asthma and other chronic respiratory or lung conditions.  Dust generated from fire response activity may also worsen these conditions.

Protect yourself and your family from smoke:

  • Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage, or health warnings relatedto smoke.
  • Use common sense when outside conditions are smoky.  Avoid outdoor activities, particularly for children and persons with severe or chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease.
  • While inside, residents should close windows and run their heating or cooling system, if possible.  Keep the fresh air intake closed, and change or clean the system’s filter as needed to prevent bringing additional smoke inside.
  • Help keep particle levels lower inside. When smoke levels are high, try to avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves and even candles.  Do not vacuum, which stirs up particles already inside your home.  Also do not smoke tobacco.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about taking medicines and following your asthma management plan if you have asthma or other lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

For questions related to health problems or symptoms you may be experiencing related to the smoke, please contact your primary care physician.   For medical emergencies call 911 or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.