Smoky air fills Central Valley skies: How you can protect yourself

The best way to prevent breathing in the particles is by using an N95 mask.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The massive Dixie Fire up in Northern California is now impacting the Central Valley.

"It's time to really gear up, especially those with respiratory diseases as well as people who don't have respiratory problems," says Dr. Praveen Buddiga with the Family Allergy Asthma Clinic.

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As the air quality has gone from bad to worse in the last few days, Dr. Buddiga says he's already treating patients in need.

"I have seen numerous cases this week with skin rashes and breathing problems and we are doing our best to keep up."

His biggest advice for you is to stay indoors as much as possible and to prepare accordingly.

"If you go outside, please wear a mask especially these days, roll your windows up when driving and put your car in 'circulate' because you don't want to breathe those particulates into the lungs," he says.

They're particulates he says we can't see but will sit on our skin and hair.

Heather Heinks with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District says it's important to have the right resources.

"The basic covers we use for COVID prevention don't cover the tiny particles of smoke and we are inhaling it still," Heinks says.

The best way to prevent breathing in the particles is by using an N95 mask.

Dr. Buddiga says he is expecting many calls this coming week and wants to remind everyone to stay alert and as safe as possible.

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