Friday, October 26, 2007
After the Wildfires
As a native Californian, wildfires aren’t anything new. But, they’re still frightening. Depending on how close to the fires you are and how big those fires are blazing, the sky can be a muddy brownie brown to a dingy hazy brownish gray.
According to the radio this morning, 13 of the 23 Southern California wildfires have been contained. As some of you may know, the BIRD TALK magazine office is located in the Irvine area. We had two fires near us.
The amount of smoke and ash in the air was not pleasant. Each time I step out of my car when I get to work, I feel like I’m choking on it. And even though the fires are slowly starting to be dominated by our amazing fire crews, the smoke in the air is still a hazard to us – and to our pet birds. Smoke from the fires contains ash and other particles and gases that can become a hazard.
Remember that our pet birds don’t have a diaphragm and cannot cough up the smoke and toxins in the air the way we can. I think that Sybil Erden of The Oasis Sanctuary in Arizona said it best, “The rule of thumb with birds is one in, never out.”
But there are ways to protect your bird from the harmful smoke in the air.
- Keep all of the windows in your house shut, and keep opening doors that connect outside to a minimum.
- Keep your air conditioner running or fans going to help circulate air in your house.
- If you have a HEPA filter, keep in running in your bird room.
If you’re worried that harmful particles are already inside your house, Sybil suggested draping a damp sheet over your bird’s cage. Make sure that it is damp and not soaking.
It may take a couple of days for the smoke to clear out. But I think that it’s important to consider our health and the health of our pets.