Smoke from the West may cause allergies, locals react
As the fires out West rage on and smoke covers the U.S. we ask an expert what affects the smoke could have on Nebraskans, as the smoke hovers above Lincoln.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- As the fires out West rage on and smoke covers the U.S., we ask an expert what affects the smoke could have on Nebraskans, as the smoke hovers above Lincoln.
“Well, you can still see there is a haze. It just isn’t affecting the air quality as much,” says Kevin Reichmuth, a pulmonologist at Nebraska Pulmonary Specialties.
Firefighters continue to battle the blazes in California and Oregon. With close to 4 million acres being burned, that smoke has to go somewhere, and a lot of the country is seeing it.
With a smoke advisory in effect for the state, you could have some symptoms.
“You know it could be things like irritated eyes and runny nose and sore throat,” said Reichmuth. “All the way to a cough, shortness of breath, and you know even wheezing in the extreme cases.”
Many of you have noticed a change.
“Actually we’ve had time outdoors every day and it seems like there’s enough of a breeze to keep it from being a bad air quality for us at all,” said Waneta Larios.
One Lincolnite caught pictures of the smoke over a Nebraskan sunset.
“It was a beautiful sun,” said William Bellamy. “Orange, glowing, just beautiful. I suspect it was the smoke. I have smelled smoke in the area, but it wasn’t something that I could not tolerate.”
Can masks help against the smoke?
“It depends on what you’re using the mask for,” says Reichmuth. “In the case of this, the cloth masks aren’t going to protect you to a great extent, but you still need to wear them cause we’re in the middle of a COVID pandemic. You know relatively speaking this is still going to be a short term situation especially for us in Nebraska. Probably very little long term effects.
Dr. Reichmuth advises that exercise outdoors is fine for now, but if the air quality gets any worse, it may be better to plan indoor workouts.