August 3, 2020
Riverside County Joint Information Center
Public contact: 2-1-1
Health officials warn about impact of smoke from Apple Fire
One coronavirus testing site moves due to proximity to fire
A wildfire that is burning near Banning is generating smoke and ash that is impacting the San
Gorgonio Pass and communities in and around the San Jacinto Mountains, prompting health
officials to urge residents to take precautions with the unhealthy air quality levels.
“Residents throughout portions of the San Gorgonio Pass, particularly those living or working
near the fire, need to be aware of the risks of breathing unhealthy air and take steps to keep
safe,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.
Kaiser recommends that those who live in areas impacted by smoke and ash should avoid
strenuous activity, remain indoors with the air-conditioning on and windows and doors closed.
Also, keep the indoor air fresh with a clean filtering system to prevent from bringing smoke
Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health issues, which include burning eyes, runny nose,
shortness of breath, scratchy throat, headaches and chest pains. Smoke can also worsen
chronic heart and lung disease.
Officials also stress the importance of following evacuation instructions for the safety of all
residents living in the evacuation areas. Safety steps have been taken to protect residents and
workers at the reception and care site located at Beaumont High School.
“We have taken a number of precautions to ensure everyone is safe while they are evacuated,”
said Bruce Barton, director of the County of Riverside Emergency Management Department. “In
addition to sheltering away from smoke, we implemented expanded precautions to ensure
evacuated residents are protected from COVID with screening, physical distancing, sanitation
stations and a number of other safety measures.”
Meanwhile, the state-operated coronavirus testing site at the Noble Creek Community Center
in Beaumont has been closed because of the Apple Fire and will open at the Beaumont
Women’s Club, 306 E. 6th Street. The move is effective immediately and will be in place until
Those with existing appointments will be notified about the change.
The hours of operation remain the same – 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To
make an appointment at the Beaumont location, call 888-634-1123 or click online
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