Poor Air Quality a Health Concern in Station Fire


Direct Relief staff met today with representatives from the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) and the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) to coordinate emergency aid to area health facilities during the Station Fire, which has burned more than 105,000 acres and threatens more than 10,000 homes.

Air quality in the greater Los Angeles area is the most significant health concern. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), which monitors air quality in Southern California, has issued a smoke advisory for a large part of the region as smoke and ash billow over much of the Southland.

Direct Relief staff has been in constant contact with partner clinics and health centers in the Los Angeles area to offer medical material aid to help them treat their vulnerable patients. “Thank you so much for thinking of us during these fires,” said Sylvia Lofftus, of Glendale Community Free Health Clinic in Glendale. “Yesterday and today the smoke has been horrific!  Ash is everywhere…[people] with asthma will have a very difficult time with this smoke.”

During recent wildfires in San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties, Direct Relief has provided  N95 particulate respirators help protect people with respiratory health issues from the harmful effects of poor air quality. People with asthma are particularly vulnerable to wildfire smoke, ash, and particulate matter. The masks especially help those who must be outdoors during the fire.

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