North Georgia church gives masks to handle smoke from wildfires - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


North Georgia church gives masks to handle smoke from wildfires

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You can't avoid it, a smoky haze blanketing the Tennessee Valley making it tough to breathe.

Wildfires in the region are spewing smoke so thick that some residents are being urged to wear masks if they are outdoors. It's why one local church is stepping up to help their neighbors.

READ MORE | CDC website - Particulate filtering masks

"If we open the back door to our house it was like standing beside a campfire that was being extinguished and all the smoke that comes off that,” Patrick Hickey with North Georgia Worship Center explained.

While firefighters work to put out the fires and keep everyone safe, residents work protect themselves from the lingering smoke.

"I got to thinking about it and I called my pastor. 'I want to run an idea by you, and see what you think?' we talked for just five minutes and he was like 'let's do it,’” Hickey said.

Hickey and North Georgia Worship Center in Dade County went store to store to buy masks to give out to the community.     

"It will help to keep the smoke from getting in there, constricting the airways, blocking the airways, and things like that. so this is a huge, huge help," Joyce Boyd said.
Boyd received free masks for her family, it's a small gesture, but one that she said makes a big difference.

“Oh I’m very grateful, very very grateful especially for my child with the asthma, it will be a huge help for him,” Boyd said.

The church also provided food and snacks to the community. Any extra masks will be brought to senior centers and a community prayer service Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Trenton Square.

"Helping people out there's no cost to it, especially when it's this bad you want to do the best you can to help them out,” Hickey said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that most masks won't protect you from small particles found in smoke, but do add a layer of protection if you do have to be outdoors. 

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