Keeping smoke at bay

Tips on coping with smoke in the air during wildfire season

On Aug. 6, the Butte County Air Quality Management District and Butte County Department of Public Health issued an Air Quality Advisory in response to smoky skies caused by the nearby Chips Fire. With fire season in full swing, it’s important to be mindful of daily air conditions, particularly for the young, aged and those with respiratory, heart or other health conditions. Even those in perfect health can experience coughing; watery, itchy eyes; and difficulty breathing. Conditions tend to be worst from late morning to early afternoon. The county maintains a website at with daily air-quality updates, and recommends the following actions to protect yourself from smoke:

• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed, and set air conditioning on “recirculation” setting• Limit outdoor exertion• Reduce travel and unnecessary driving• Avoid non-HEPA paper face masks, as they don’t filter out fine particulates