Officials warn of smoke in Okanogan County

— As smoke from fires burning around the state and British Columbia blankets Okanogan County, breathing may become more difficult for some residents and visitors.

According to Okanogan County Public Health officials, infants and young children, senior citizens, pregnant women, diabetics or people with pre-existing lung and cardiovascular conditions may be sensitive or susceptible to airborne particulates aloft from fires.

“Occasional periods of poor air quality are expected in Okanogan County this week, with smoke-related particulates reaching levels considered unhealthy for sensitive groups,” officials said. “According to the latest smoke management/weather forecast information available, these periods of poor air quality are expected to occur intermittently through the week.”

To alleviate or mitigate some of the smoke’s effects, people can stay indoors with the windows closed and use the recycle or re-circulate setting on your vehicle’s air conditioner, officials said.

“During hot weather, if you do not have air conditioning, then consider visiting a place that does, such as a friend’s house, relative’s house, or a public library,” officials said. “Don’t smoke and try to avoid physical exertion.”

If you experience symptoms of cardiovascular or lung problems, contact your health care provider, officials said.

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