Residents of South Carolina should be aware of the continued risk for health effects related to smoke from wildfires that originated from fires burning across parts of central and western Canada and the western United States, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported on Thursday, July 22nd.
Smoke from these fires, which has drifted into the northern two thirds of our state, can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.
It is expected that the health and visibility impacts from the smoke will be experienced in all regions of the state except the Lowcountry. The most significant effects should occur Thursday night, with impacts lingering into Friday. A ridge of high pressure building offshore should bring cleaner air into the region for the beginning of the weekend.
DHEC recommends individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Keep windows and doors closed. 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.
For more information, please visit DHEC's webpage.
For more information about the location of the wildfires, please visit: https://fire.airnow.gov.
General Information on Wildfires and Health
How Wildfires Affect the Health of Children
- Environmental Hazards for Children in the Aftermath of Wildfires (Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units and the American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Health Risks of Wildfires for Children: Acute Phase (Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units and the American Academy of Pediatrics)
Protecting Your Pets in a Disaster
- American Veterinary Medical Association Disaster Preparedness (American Veterinary Medicine Association)
- AVMA Emergency Preparedness and Response Guide (American Veterinary Medical Association)
- Disaster Preparedness Resources - Barn Fires (The Humane Society of the United States)
- Protect Your Pets in An Emergency (CDC)
For Firefighters and Other Emergency Responders
Cleaning Up After a Disaster
- Residential Air Cleaning Devices: A Summary of Available Information (EPA)
- Cleanup Safely after a Disaster (CDC)
- Recovering from Disaster (FEMA)
- Safe Cleanup of Fire Ash (California EPA)
- Wildland Fire Chemical Clean-Up (USDA Forest Service)
How Open Burning Can Lead to Wildfires