A very strong smell of smoke and a haze has covered the Oklahoma City metro and neighboring communities Friday morning.
Fire departments across the area have received reports of the smoke, but the source of the smoke has not been located.
According to our sister station KOTV-6 in Tulsa, there is a wildfire burning near the city of Avant in Osage County, Oklahoma. Avant is close to 30 miles north of Tulsa.
Authorities say that fire is burning nearly 100 acres of land, but is contained. They don't know for sure if the smoke in the Oklahoma City area is coming from that fire.
Residents in as many as ten counties, including Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, and Logan counties and more, have reported smelling the smoke.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes or a runny nose. If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse.
According to the website AIRNow.gov:
If you have heart or lung diseasee, such as congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma, you may experience health effects earlier and at lower smoke levels than healthy people.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, possibly because they are more likely to have heart or lung diseases than younger people.
Children also are more susceptible to smoke for several reasons: their respiratory systems are still developing; they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults; and they're more likely to be active outdoors.
People with heart disease might experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fatigue. People with lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or as vigorously as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, wheezing and shortness of breath.
When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.
Paper "comfort" or "dust" masks - the kinds you commonly can buy at the hardware store - are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks generally will not protect your lungs from the fine particles in smoke.
Some room air cleaners can help reduce particle levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home. If you choose to buy an air cleaner, don't wait until there's a fire - make that decision beforehand. Note: Don't use an air cleaner that generates ozone. That just puts more pollution in your home.