Heavy Smoke From Fuller Fire Impacting Residents of Western Navajo Nation

Northern rimPublished July 16, 2016

NORTH RIM-The Fuller Fire is burning on the North Rim near Point Imperial on the Grand Canyon National Park. The fire is also burning north onto the Kaibab National Forest area. The fire is growing in an easterly and northeasterly direction. As of current, the fire has not reached the Navajo Nation but it has been reported that heavy smoke is impacting the areas of Cameron, Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, Kaibeto, Inscription House, Shonto and Kayenta.

Residents in these areas are advised to take precautionary measures in anticipating or dealing with smoke inhalation.

• Use common sense. If it looks smoky outside, try and stay indoors and keep your children from playing outdoors.

• Pay attention to local air quality reports. Stay alert to smoke-related news coverage or health warnings.

• Visit www.airnow.gov to find out the Air Quality Index in your area. As smoke gets worse, the amount of particles in the air changes. Always protect yourself. AirNow recommends precautions you can take to protect your health when air pollution gets bad.

• If you are advised to stay indoors, take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. When smoke levels are high, try to avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves and even candles. Don’t vacuum. That stirs up particles already inside your home. Don’t smoke. That puts even more pollution in your lungs, and in the lungs of people around you.

• If you have asthma or other lung disease, make sure you follow your doctor’s directions about taking your medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

• Run your air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. Note: If you don’t have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter.

• If you have heart or lung disease, if you are an older adult, or if you have children, talk with your doctor about whether and when you should leave the area. When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors, even though you may not be able to see them.

• Precautions. If you see, smell or taste smoke and it is affecting you and your family consider some of the following actions: • If you are beginning to experience symptoms, consider temporarily locating to another area as long as it is safe for you to do so. Stay indoors with doors and windows closed.

• Run the air conditioning on recirculate with a clean filter or the fan feature on your home heating system with the heat turned off. The filtration systems on home systems can provide some benefit.

• Run room air filtration units that use HEPA filters.

• Reduce your physical activity. Do not exercise. If symptoms persist or become more severe, please contact your primary health care provider – even persons considered healthy can experience symptoms when exposed to smoke.

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