Skip Global navigation and goto content

Health Officials Advise to Take Health Precautions in Areas Affected with Heavy Smoke

By Patricia Roberts

May 07, 2020

May 07, 2020


Contact: Patti Roberts
(850) 401-6353

DeFuniak Springs, Fla –The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH- Walton) urges residents to take precaution in areas affected with heavy smoke from the Mussett Bayou Fire. The wildfire is being contained by local fire agencies but may continue to smolder for several days producing smoke. Heavy smoke may be present, and DOH-Walton wants residents and visitors to take caution when being in areas affected heavily by smoke.

“Smoke can cause individuals to experience scratchy throats or irritated eyes and noses,” stated Holly Holt, Director of DOH-Walton. “Smoke can also worsen asthma and other chronic lung or heart conditions.”

How to protect your family from smoke:

  • Avoid prolonged outdoor activities in areas heavily affected by smoke. This is especially important for children and persons with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Stay indoors and run your air conditioner. Keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing additional smoke inside. For best results, run the air conditioning with recirculated air.
  • Help keep particle levels lower inside. When smoke levels are high, try to avoid using anything that burns, such as wood fireplaces, gas logs, gas stoves and candles. Do not vacuum, which stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice about taking medicines and following your asthma management plan if you have asthma or other lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports, news coverage or health warnings related to smoke.


Due to a wildfire threat statewide. It is important for residents to follow all State and County guidance regarding outdoor burning. To report any excessive outdoor fire activity, please call 911.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit