News from: Oakland Fire Department
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2018
Air Quality Advisory and Red Flag Warning Issued for the Bay Area – Oakland Fire Department Provides Tips to Stay Safe.
Oakland, CA - Due to heavy smoke blowing into the Bay Area from the extensive Camp Fire in Butte County, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has issued an Winter Spare the Air Alert and Air Quality Advisory that will remain in effect until Monday, November 12, 2018. Outdoor and indoor burning of wood or any other solid fuel is prohibited for the duration of the alert.
A Red Flag Warning has also been issued by the National Weather Service, and shall remain in effect until 8 am Monday, November 12.
In addition to the Oakland Fire Department’s normal operations, the firefighters will be conducting roving fire patrols in the Oakland Hills. Please see the attached flyer which provides tips to reduce wildfire hazards.
WHAT TO DO FOR THE AIR QUALITY ADVISORY
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, which could lead to coughing, a scratchy throat and irritated sinuses. Large amounts of particulate matter in the air can trigger wheezing in those who suffer from asthma, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Oakland Fire Department (OFD) advises that persons with heart or lung diseases, elderly persons or young children should do the following:
• Avoid activities that increase indoor air pollution, such as cigarette smoking, burning candles, fireplaces, or using gas stoves.
• Follow the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider about medicines and your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Consider evacuating if you have trouble breathing. Call your doctor for advice if your symptoms worsen.
• Do not rely on dust masks for protection as they cannot protect your lungs from wildfire smoke.
• Minimize outdoor activities to avoid unnecessary exposure if you smell smoke.
• Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate to prevent outside air from moving inside.
• Reduce exposure to smoky air by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed, if possible.
• Stay tuned to local media for changes in smoke or weather conditions. OFD recommends that residents sign-up for emergency notifications through www.acalert.org.
WHAT IS A RED FLAG WARNING?
The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings to alert fire departments of the onset, or possible onset, of critical weather and dry conditions that could lead to rapid or dramatic increases in wildfire activity. Firefighters will raise red flags at fire stations to warn residents of extreme fire weather, as warnings are issued by the National Weather Service.
A Red Flag Warning is the highest alert. During these times extreme caution is urged by all residents, because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire. Please see the attached flyer which discusses what you residents and visitors can do to prevent a wildfire.
JOAQUIN MILLER PARK CLOSURE
Section 12.64.180 of the Oakland Municipal Code (OMC), states that Joaquin Miller Park is closed to the public when a Red Flag Warning is in effect. Signs will be posted at all park entrances and trails regarding the closure.
STAY UP TO DATE ON EMERGENCIES AND PUBLIC SAFETY
The public is encouraged to subscribe to AC Alert to receive calls, emails and text messages. The system allows subscribers to provide up to five locations, such as a school, home, work and an elder dependent’s address. That way, subscribers will receive updates when an emergency alert impacts one of their self-identified locations.
AC Alert is a unified emergency notification system for Alameda County residents, businesses and visitors. An AC Alert subscription is free, and all residents and business owners are strongly encouraged to sign up. For more information about this system and to find out how to participate, please visit www.acalert.org.