CONTACT: Beth Kaplan, Department of Health Services, (608)
SMOKE PLUME FROM MINNESOTA FOREST FIRE MAY AFFECT
INDIVIDUALS WITH RESPIRATORY AND HEART PROBLEMS
State officials provide health precaution information
MADISON—State health officials are monitoring a large
smoke plume from a forest fire in northeastern Minnesota. The plume is
moving through Wisconsin.
“The Department of Natural Resources has not issued an air quality
alert, but temporary peaks in pollutants are occurring around the state.
This can cause problems for people with respiratory and heart problems,”
said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. “People with such health
problems should consider staying indoors, closing windows and using an air
conditioner with a high efficiency air filter.”
Anderson said local health departments are receiving calls about heavy
smoke odors, ash and concerns about smoke inhalation. He noted that in
healthy people, symptoms of smoke exposure usually include irritation of
eyes, nose and throat, or breathing discomfort, and more severe symptoms
may include chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
Smoke exposure can aggravate chronic lung or cardiovascular disease.
“Concerned citizens should listen for news updates on air quality and
visibility and follow all precautions and instructions given by local
health and governmental departments,” Anderson said.
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Last Revised: September 13, 2011