SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Many people with asthma visiting near the Rim Fire are cutting their vacations short because of all the smoke.
But it’s not just people near the fire having breathing issues—those problems are being felt hundreds of miles away.
It’s a complaint Dr. Bradley Schroeder from Mercy Hospital is hearing often. Patients in Sacramento are feeling the effects of the Rim Fire nearly 150 miles away.
“If you inhale irritants, it’s going to cause your airways to be irritated,” said Shroeder.
We can’t see the particles floating in the air, but professor Jerold Last says they travel far distances, especially in California because the winds bring them to the valley where they settle.
“Being 100 to 200 miles away is not necessarily protection,” said Shroeder.
Experts say these particles exist all the time. It’s why some people suffer from asthma. But they worsen with a wildfire, because burning trees put more particles into the air.
Schroeder recommends everyone should try to avoid being outdoors for long periods of time. And just because the sky looks clear doesn’t mean you aren’t breathing in those irritants.