Smoke and Dust Advisory due to brush fires on Maui and Hawai’i Island
The wind-fueled brush fires that scorched large acres of land on Maui and Hawai‘i Island are generating dense smoke and ash which could result in increased levels of smoke, ash and dust in surrounding areas, especially during high winds.
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health Clean Air Branch is advising residents and visitors in these areas – especially those who suffer from pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or emphysema – to take precautionary measures or leave the area until the fire is contained and the smoke subsides.
The public is advised to be vigilant and adhere to the following safety tips:
- Avoid outdoor activities to reduce exposure and minimize health risks. This is particularly important for children, seniors and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions and chronic lung and heart disease.
- Stay indoors and close all windows and doors. If an air conditioner is used, set it to the recirculate option.
- If you need to leave the affected area, turn on your vehicle’s air conditioner and set it to the recirculate option.
- Always keep medications on hand.
- Daily prescribed medications for respiratory illnesses should be taken on schedule.
- Contact a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any health problems.
- Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Have family emergency plans prepared and ready.
- Heed warnings by county and state emergency management officials.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health is encouraging residents and visitors to utilize the DOH Clean Air Branch website which includes data from Hawaiʻi’s near-real-time network of air quality monitors that detect particulate matter: https://health.hawaii.gov/cab/hawaii-ambient-air-quality-data/ and AirNow’s Fire and Smoke website: https://fire.airnow.gov/.