Air quality alert issued as Carpenter 1 fire rages - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Air quality alert issued as Carpenter 1 fire rages

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Air quality officials in Clark County upgraded an air quality advisory, which was triggered by smoke from the Carpenter 1 wildfire, to an alert, FOX5's Ted Pretty reported Wednesday.

The alert, which means unhealthy levels of air pollution are occurring, is in effect through Thursday, Pretty said.

The county's Department of Air Quality originally issued an advisory to last through at least Sunday.

The advisories come as smoke and particles wreak havoc on people's breathing.

Dr. Jim Christensen says prolonged outdoor exposure can create problems for everyone, especially those with a pre-existing condition.

"This is a low irritant that people are inhaling deep in their lungs," Christensen said.  "With the fire, people with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could have an exacerbation or worsening of their condition. When we have winds and fire like that, those are small particles that they can inhale and then will then have them start coughing and wheezing."

With the chance of rain later this week, most see it as a cleanser. But the moisture brings its own set of problems.

"The rain will usually clear the air," Christensen said. "But the rain then does something else which causes a rapid change in humidity for us which is another trigger."

The best deterrent is to stay inside, keep doors and windows closed and change the filters in your house.

If you have to be outside, Christensen says you can take an antihistamine to help.

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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