Wildfire smoke descends on La Crosse region

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — La Crosse area health officials recommend people take care as smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. reaches the Coulee Region.

Those who suffer respiratory illnesses and other vulnerable populations should take precautions to stay safe, according to Gundersen Health System.

Until the smoke clears from our air, it’s important that everyone but especially children and those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses, limit their time outdoors or stay inside to protect their lungs, said Gundersen Health System allergist Todd Mahr, MD.“Smoke from fires is a dangerous irritant to the eyes and respiratory system. It can make heart conditions and lung diseases like asthma worse,” he said. “Children are especially vulnerable because their lungs are less developed, and they are closer to the ground, and thus more likely to take in more smoke.”To stay safe, Dr. Mahr recommends:

  • Staying inside if you smell the smoke;
  • Controlling your asthma with proper use of medications and calling your allergist if you experience trouble breathing;
  • Avoiding frying or grilling food that can pollute indoor air; and,
  • Wearing a N95 mask if you have a respiratory illness and must travel outside.