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Smoke from Milepost 97 Fire causing health concerns

As crews steadily battle the Milepost 97 Fire, those with allergies or asthma are fighting their own battle -- with the smoke.

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 9:16 PM

AZALEA, Ore. -- As crews steadily battle the Milepost 97 Fire, those with allergies or asthma are fighting their own battle -- with the smoke.

Glendale resident Joe Tamaska said Glendale and Azalea have faced brutal amounts of smoke from the fire, which started July 24 and has only grown since then.

Tamaska said the people in his town are suffering.

RELATED: FIREFIGHTERS ON MILEPOST 97 FIRE PREPARING FOR WARMER, DRIER WEATHER

"By the end of the day your eyes are just burning," said Tamaska. "We've had to shut the doors inside the store and keep the AC on because the smoke was so bad inside the store."

Dr. Alice Chou from the Allergy and Asthma Center in Eugene said unfortunately what's best for people in heavily smokey areas isn't always possible.

"Unfortunately for people down there, the best thing is avoidance," said Chou.

However for people who work, that's not always possible, so according to Chou, there are some immediate things someone can do to curb the effects of smoke sensitivity.

Those driving through the area of the fire may notice a smokey smell coming into their cars, but there are a couple of ways to prevent the problem from getting worse and to keep the effects at bay.

First, air conditioning does filter out smokey air faster than if the air was off.

Second, if you know you're sensitive to this weather, experts suggest upgrading your air filter in your car, and if you dont have one get one.

Third, keep the inside of your car wiped down so when you do get out of the smoke, particles don't linger.

Chou also said if you are prescribed allergy medicine, do not be lazy with taking it -- it will help.

"Take a quick shower. Change your clothes when you come in, especially at the end of the day before they go to sleep so they don't keep smelling the smoke on their hair and clothes," said Chou.

With the winds always changing, the air quality is too. That's why doctors said it is important to stay indoors when possible and stay vigilant when you can't.

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