DHEC warns South Carolina residents about health effects from wildfire smoke

South Carolina News

FILE PHOTO | Smoke rises from the Dixie Fire burning along Highway 70 in Plumas National Forest, Calif., on Friday, July 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – State health officials are warning residents about possible health effects associated with smoke from wildfires burning across parts of central and western Canada and the western United States.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said smoke from these fires can irritate the eyes and respiratory system as well as aggravate or exacerbate chronic heart and lung diseases.

They say the smoke has already drifted into the northern part of South Carolina.

“Depending on wind conditions, multiple areas could be affected. However, it is expected that the most significant health and visibility impacts from the smoke will be experienced in areas roughly along and north of a line from Myrtle Beach to Columbia to Abbeville,” DHEC said in an announcement Wednesday. “The most significant effects should occur Wednesday Night and Thursday, though effects may last into Friday.”

DHEC recommends individuals with respiratory health issues limit time spent outdoors to avoid the smoke.

“Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside,” health officials said.

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