Doctors see health impacts from wildfire smoke

Doctors see health impacts from wildfire smoke
Hellgate Bridge shrouded in smoke from the Big Windy fire in southwest Oregon. Photo from Inciweb

ROSEBURG, Ore. - As crews work to contain wildfires burning in Southwest Oregon, residents continue to cope with the smoke.

Doctors are seeing the health impacts - and exposure could cause lifelong problems for some children.

"Almost every day I'm seeing patients who are coming in with worsened symptoms," said Dr. Rebanta Chakraborty, "and are complaining about the worsened smoke, and the poor visibility."

Smoke can be especially dangerous for kids, Chakraborty said.

"Developmentally, their airways haven't matured yet," he said. "Small triggers like this can be a predictor for asthma."

Chakraborty said people sensitive to the smoke can protect themselves by minimizing the use of candles or firewood - and by letting the house get a little dirty.

"Keep vacuuming to the minimum," he said. "Vacuuming around this time usually churns the particles into the air and causes more trouble."