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St. Lucie health officials issue a warning about smoke risk from the Glades mulch fire

St. Lucie County Fire District
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The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County cautions citizens that smoke is a respiratory irritant, which can cause scratchy throat, or irritated eyes and nose.

The 28-acre Glades mulch fire that has burned for nearly three weeks in St. Lucie County is continuing to produce large amounts of smoke.

The fire started Aug. 25 after a lightning strike. Fire officials say the blaze will have to burn itself out, and that could take several weeks.

The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County on Monday issued a warning that smoke from the fire could possibly worsen asthma, and other chronic lung or heart conditions.

"Smoke is a respiratory irritant, which can cause scratchy throat, or irritated eyes and nose," the department says,

To help protect people from health problems related to smoke, the department offers these reminders:

  • Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage or health warnings related to smoke,
  • Avoid prolonged outdoor activities. This is especially important for children and people with preexisting medical conditions,
  • Stay indoors and run the air conditioner if you have one. Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioning with recirculated air,
  • Help keep particle levels lower inside. When smoke levels are high, try to avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves, candles and cigarettes.
  • Do not vacuum, which may stir up particles already inside your home.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about taking medicines and following any asthma management plan if you have asthma or other lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Individuals should contact their doctor if they feel they have difficulty breathing due to the smoke.

Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as allergies, sinus problems, asthma and chronic lung diseases should contact their medical provider if they have concerns about their condition.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital emergency room immediately.

WQCS