Health dept. warns of dangers of smoke from brush fires

Health department officials say the smoke conditions will linger and so the public needs to heed their health conditions.

“Over the next three or four days we will have periods of heavy smoke,” said department spokeswoman Deb Millsap.

Some intentional burning of dead vegetation also is taking place to help control the brush fire, and that is contributing to the smoke, she said.

The health department conducts symptom surveillance at all emergency rooms at Collier hospitals and so far there has not been an uptick in patients with respiratory problems, Millsap said.

Families also need to pay attention to their children because they have smaller respiratory systems and breath faster, so they are more susceptible to developing problems because of the smoke, she said.

POSTED EARLIER

The Collier County Health Department is cautioning residents to be careful in the eastern part of the community because wildfire smoke is a respiratory irritant that can trigger problems for people with chronic lung conditions.

Firefighters have been battling brush fires in Golden Gate Estates that have created plumes of smoke that can be carried some distances by wind conditions.

■ Health department officials advise people to avoid prolonged outdoor activities, especially by children, people with asthma or other lung illnesses.

■ Health officials also advise people to stay inside with their air conditioning running and keep the fresh intake closed and the filter cleaned to prevent bringing smoke inside. If you do not have air conditioning, arrange to stay with friends or family until the brush fires are over.

■ Follow your doctor’s advice about medications and make an appointment if your condition worsens.

For more information, go to the health department’s website at www.Collierprepares.org.

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