‘It’s almost like suffocating’: Smoke from California wildfires impacting Las Vegans

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Wildfire smoke from California continues to impact people across the Las Vegas valley.

The Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability extended its smoke advisory through Friday, Aug. 27. The department says wildfire smoke “is expected to continue drifting into the region, leading to potentially elevated concentrations of particulate matter in the air.”

The air quality is being categorized as “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” That means for people with asthma and C.O.P.D, as well as small children and the elderly. But there are simple things everyone can do to stay safe.

“It’s very scary,” said Las Vegas resident Mozell Williams. “I could be triggered at any time, and it could trigger me into going into the hospital.”

Williams suffers from asthma and says the wildfire smoke spilling into the Las Vegas valley from California is causing some painful problems.

“It’s almost like suffocating,” Williams said.

Williams said she is now using a nebulizer for breathing treatments far more frequently.

“I’m having to do it twice a week just so I can kind of clear my lungs and be able to breathe and take deep breaths,” Williams said.

She also makes sure the air in her home is clean.

“We have air purifiers in every room,” Williams said.

Purifiers can be expensive, but there’s a cheaper alternative. You can buy an FPR 10 furnace air filter for about $20 at a home improvement store. You just tape it to the back of a normal box fan, and then when you turn the fan on, the air that comes through becomes much cleaner.

“Keep your windows and doors closed and change your air filters,” said Kevin MacDonald, the Public Information Administrator for the Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability.

MacDonald says that advice is more crucial than ever, especially with Las Vegas seeing wildfire smoke during three of the past four years. He says the small particles of matter in the air, from the smoke, can be dangerous.

“Those could get deeper into your lungs, so that could clearly be a health issue, especially for those with breathing sensitivities,” MacDonald said.

That is why Williams is doing everything she can to be safe.

“I have to be a lot more cautious now,” Williams said.

Again, as of Wednesday, the smoke advisory for Clark County goes through Friday. But experts are keeping an eye on things because of shifting wind patterns.

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