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Air Quality a Major Concern to Health Officials

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As four major fires burn in the greater Los Angeles region, officials from the LA County Health Department, who raised this week's heat advisory to a heat alert today, want to make sure people stay safe.

"We have two problems in Los Angeles County; each makes the other worse," Dr.
Jonathan Fielding, county health officer, said in opening statements at a press conference this morning. "Summer has finally come." He said the heat exacerbates the fires which in turn worsens air quality.

Whether visible or not, the distinctive odor of the smoke carries pollutants that especially concern Fiedling. They're composed of a number gases: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter, the latter which poses a health concern along with larger particles that can go deep into the lung tissue and irritate the eyes. "If you can smell or see it, you're better off to avoid outdoor activities," he said.