Direct Relief International (DRI) the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be distributing free between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 8, at the following locations:
- Lazy Acres Shopping Center on the Mesa
- Loretto Plaza at State and Las Positas
- Goleta Community Center on Hollister Avenue
"These masks are being made available to the public for free," said Dr. Elliot Schulman, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. There are a limited number of masks available so only take what you absolutely need.
Schulman said it is critical that the masks be fitted properly on the face; instruction for proper fitting will be included at the distribution sites.
"It's better to avoid exposure, particularly for those with known lung or breathing problems," said Schulman. "But if you have to be outdoors, especially if you're doing vigorous activity, it is wise to wear a mask to reduce exposure to inhaled wild land fire smoke."
It is the tiny, invisible particles that get into the lungs and can cause problems, he said.