LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- At the Pulminary Associates office in Las Vegas, the phones have been ringing off the hook. Their office has seen an increase of about forty percent in patients calling, concerned about the smoke. Dr. Paul Stewart has been handling the extra load.
"Over the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday more people have complained of their symptoms and we’ve had to add medicines to make sure they’re taking their medicines regularly," Dr. Steward said.
Doctor Stewart says the people who have been most affected are those with allergies or asthma, but adds that anyone with respiratory problems is at risk.
"Those people should stay inside as much as they can," Stewart said. "(They should) keep the air conditioning on to keep the air as clear as they can and use their medicines."
William Klipsch, who lives in the near Durango and the 215, has noticed the air getting worse. He was ready to start his day by working on his yard but his plans quickly changed.
"I was going to mow the lawn, I had coffee on the patio this morning and shortness of breath and a headache," Klipsch said. "I said, 'I don’t think I’m going to mow the lawn today.'"
At the offices of the American Lung Association, the problem is the same.
"All over the valley, everybody has been smelling it. People's eye have been watering," said Amy Beaulieu, Lung Health Educator at the American Lung Association.
The association they acted quickly to keep themselves away from harm, taking steps that they say could be helpful for all Las Vegas residents.
"The smell both in our parking lot and in our office was pretty pervasive. So we took the extra precaution of changing out our air filters because if we could smell it you can only imagine what it was doing inside of your lungs," Beaulieu said.
Experts say that residents need to be aware of potential lung damage. Dr. Stewart reccommends that those who need to be outside for long periods of time may want to wear a mask for the next few days to keep harmful particles out of their lungs.