Smoke from western wildfires could cause health issues in the Ozarks

We may be dealing with smoke at times through the fall.
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Some of the smoke from western wildfires has made its way to the Ozarks. And that is causing potential health issues for some.

Western fires continue to rage.

“And there’s some really big ones,” said KY3 First Alert Meteorologist Brandon Beck, “Especially up here in Oregon and parts of Washington, Montana.”

That smoke is a health issue for some. Air quality is moderate in much of the area, but unhealthy for sensitive groups from Maries down to Shannon counties.

“Whenever you have particulate matter in the air, it affects those with underlying lung conditions,” said Dr. Sadaf Sohrab, a pulmonologist with Mercy Hospital. “But specifically those who have asthma, COPD or emphysema.”

Dr. Sohrab recommends to stay indoors in smoky conditions and keep taking any medications. A mask can help while outdoors.

“It definitely protects you from the particulate matter that you would otherwise inhale,” said Dr. Sohrab.

This smoky air may decrease from time to time, but we may have to deal with it for a while.

“Later today, tomorrow, it’ll clear out some,” said Beck. “But as long as those fires are burning, and there’s likely to be more, then we’re gonna be dealing with smoke well into the fall.”

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