South Carolinians should be aware of the continued risk for health effects related to smoke that originated from wildfires burning across parts of central and western Canada and the western United States, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported on Wednesday, July 28th.
Smoke from these fires, which is expected to drift back into the state beginning Wednesday evening, can irritate the eyes and respiratory system, as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases. Health and visibility impacts from the smoke could be experienced in all regions of the state. The most significant effects should occur Wednesday night and Thursday, with impacts lingering into at least Thursday night.
DHEC recommends individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke. Keep windows and doors closed. If running an air conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
For more information about the location of these specific wildfires, please visit the EPA's Fire and Smoke Map available here.
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