Air Quality From Wildfires Still at Unhealthy Levels
The air quality resulting from the wildfires was expected to improve from poor to moderate for Los Angeles County on Saturday, but the air quality in other Southern California counties remains hazardous, according to officials, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In those counties, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has warned children, the elderly and those with respiratory or cardiac illnesses to not exert themselves and to remain indoors.
Small children are particularly vulnerable because they inhale more pollutants than adults, according to the Times.
Particulate matter in the air from wildfires causes an increase in hospitalizations and deaths from:
- Pneumonia; and
- Other illnesses (Pierson et al, Los Angeles Times, 10/27).
As of Sunday, UC-San Diego Medical Center has treated 47 patients, including seven firefighters, for injuries sustained by the wildfires, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The facility is the region's only burn center.
The burn center increased its supplies and workers to prepare for the increase in hospitalizations from the fires.
Most of the victims will need specialized care for weeks or months and will undergo surgeries, skin grafts and other treatments, according to the Union-Tribune (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/29).
The San Diego Wildfire Mental Health Relief Fund will help uninsured residents affected by the wildfires obtain access to mental health services, the Union-Tribune reports.
The Mental Health Association in San Diego will provide similar assistance to victims of the wildfires (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/27).