Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Try breathing around this stuff
I was watching the ABC World News, and there was a report about the wild fires in the Western U.S. They were spotlighting the fires in Sun Valley, Idaho.
A local reporter there said the air quality was so bad that an air quality station had to evacuate - because even they couldn't breathe! How ironic is that?! He said many people there are using masks or bandanas "to try to keep the smoke and ash out of their lungs." I wouldn't last 5 minutes there! Neither would any of my teenagers (all 3 of which also have asthma!)
The Beaver Creek fire has burned over 100,000 acres and there are about 700 fire fighters there trying to battle the blaze. Hats off to the firefighters!!! I know that they risk their lives every day to try to put the fires out. We only have to remember the 19 firefighters that died earlier this summer while battling a wildfire. I don't know how they are able to fight fires....I wonder if any of them have asthma? I don't know how you could be a firefighter and have asthma! You would be at risk of having an asthma attack or ending up in the hospital every day!!
Years ago, we had a bad fire in our state, and Son #2 almost died from inhaling the smoke and ash. I can't begin to explain how traumatic that was. He was in the pediatrics ward of our local hospital, and they had the "crash cart" parked outside his room - just in case he stopped breathing!! And he almost did. To this day, when there is a wild fire in our state, I start to panic.
The year after that happened, there WAS another fire here. And did I panic? YES!!!! I grabbed suitcases, threw what I could into them, packed up the kids and left town as fast as I could. I drove to another part of the state about 5 hours away. Hubby was out of town on business, so I called him and said "Don't go home! There's another fire! We're at your parent's house!!!" We spent several days there until the fire was put out at home. I was so nervous to come home!! I kept calling my neighbor to see if the fire was out and the air was clear. I also kept close watch on Son #2's oxygen levels and I watched him for any coughing or tightness in his chest.
If you are ever living near a wild fire, and they ask you to evacuate, DO IT!!! Don't stay behind to "save your stuff." If you have asthma, you are at real risk of ending up in the hospital. Get to somewhere safe where you can breathe.
Keep up the good work firefighters!! We love and appreciate all that you do!!