Brush Fires Affecting Respiratory Health

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- A dry summer season can be a pain for those who suffer from chronic breathing problems.

Recent brush fires on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island have left dust and ash that can kick up during high winds. Until the air is clear, health officials urge people, especially those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, to take steps to protect themselves.

"It cause to be an irritant to a lot of people, healthy people as well," Rien Vidad, American Lung Association, said. "It doesn't have to be anyone with any sort of lung diseases. So that's the thing we're worried about, is getting exposed to the after-effects of the smoke and the dust and the debris."

The American Lung Association suggests the following to relieve discomfort:

Stay indoors and use an air conditioner, if available.

Limit your physical exertion.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.