Recent reports from the Department of Environmental Quality indicate the smoke is resulting in “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Air Quality Index” levels in parts of the New Orleans metropolitan area, including Jefferson Parish. The DEQ advises the smoke may cause respiratory irritation in children, adults, the elderly and people who suffer with respiratory sensitivity or diseases such as asthma. It is recommended individuals avoid exposure to the smoke and avoid prolonged outdoor activities and exertion. Motorists are advised to use caution when traveling in areas where smoke may cause brief periods of reduced visibility.
If smoky conditions persist into the evening hours when football practice or parish-sponsored outdoor activities would usually take place, those activities may be moved to indoor facilities.
The fire is burning in an isolated marsh near Interstate 10 and Interstate 510 and is not expected to spread toward any populated areas, however, because of its location, it is inaccessible to firefighting equipment.
Smoke and Air Quality Health Facts from the Department of Health and Hospitals.
Below is a Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service:
The National Weather Service reports the following weather warning for your area:
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-UPPER LAFOURCHE-ST. CHARLES-UPPER JEFFERSON- ORLEANS-UPPER PLAQUEMINES-UPPER ST. BERNARD-LOWER LAFOURCHE- LOWER JEFFERSON-LOWER PLAQUEMINES-LOWER ST. BERNARD- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LAPLACE...RESERVE...THIBODAUX...
NEW ORLEANS...BELLE CHASSE...CHALMETTE...VIOLET...GALLIANO...
CUT OFF...GOLDEN MEADOW...PORT SULPHUR...EMPIRE...YSCLOSKEY
1049 AM CDT TUE AUG 30 2011
...WILDFIRE IN NEW ORLEANS EAST TO CONTINUE PRODUCING IRRITABLE SMOKE...
A WILDFIRE IS BURNING MARSH GRASSES IN NEW ORLEANS EAST NEAR INTERSTATE 10 AND INTERSTATE 510. EAST TO EAST SOUTHEAST WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO TRANSPORT MOST OF THE SMOKE OVER THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA AND OTHER AREAS TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN.
THE SMOKE MAY BE IRRITABLE TO PERSONS WITH RESPIRATORY AILMENTS AND OTHER SENSITIVE GROUPS. TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO THE SMOKE.
ADDITIONALLY...SMOKE MAY RESULT IN BRIEF PERIODS OF REDUCED VISIBILITY...ESPECIALLY ACROSS AREAS NEAR THE FIRE. MOTORISTS SHOULD TAKE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING IN THESE AREAS.
(forwarded by John Young, President of Jefferson Parish)
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