Multiple fires are raging in Southern California. A series of Santa Ana wind-driven wildfires have destroyed hundreds of structures, forced thousands to flee and smothered the region with smoke in what officials predicted would be a pitched battle for days.
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Smoke from the fast-moving Creek fire near Sylmar has caused poor air quality, prompting Los Angeles County officials to urge residents in neighboring communities to avoid going outdoors and to limit exercise.
The unhealthy air quality has been declared in portions of the San Fernando Valley, Lake View Terrace, Sylmar, Malibu and Santa Monica.
Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Jeffrey Gunzenhauser urged residents living in those communities, especially children and the elderly, to be especially cautious
“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask all individuals to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health," Gunzenhauser said.
“Smoke and ash can be harmful to health, especially in vulnerable individuals, like the elderly, people with asthma or individuals with other respiratory and heart conditions.”
Health officials recommend that that if people see or smell smoke in the air to avoid unnecessary outdoor activity and to keep windows and doors closed.
Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills has set up two phone lines that are being answered by nurse practitioners, according to hospital spokeswoman Patricia Aidem. Members of the public can call the numbers if they have non-emergency health concerns related to the fires. 818 496-3166 and 818 496-1264.