Smoke from any source may contain substances that can irritate the lining of the air passages, eyes and the skin. Respiratory symptoms can include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication (such as their inhalers) as usual. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice from their GP
Dr Arif Mahmood, consultant in public health medicine, Herefordshire Council, said: “Smoke is an irritant so it can make people’s eyes and throat sore. It may also worsen any breathing or heart conditions they have. The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.
“If residents are affected by smoke they should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
“However, most importantly please follow any advice given by the local police and tune in to local radio services for information.”