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Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire Smoke Resources:

Guidance for schools, coaches, outdoor events

Spokane Regional Health District: FAQs about wildfire smoke

The Science behind wildfire smoke's toxicity

How does this wildfire season's air quality compare to last year?

Washington Wildfire Smoke Information Blog

EPA's Smoke Ready Toolbox for Wildfires 

EPA Guide to Face Masks

EPA Guide to Air Cleaners in the home

Science Matters Articles related to wildfire smoke

List of California certified indoor air cleaning devices

Do-it-yourself Home Air Purifier

Northwest Large Fire Interactive Map

Wildfire Smoke

Like much of the western U.S., our region has seen an increase in the number of unhealthy air quality days that are due to wildfire smoke. During three of the last four years, smoke from wildfires caused unhealthy air quality on 42 days.

Wildfire  Season   # days smoke from wildfires exceeded health-based air quality standards
2018  13
2017  16
2016 0
2015 13
2014 1
2013 0
2012 2
2011 0
2010 1

Fires threaten lives, property, destroy natural resources and the smoke can affect everyone's health. Smoke is a complex mix of gases and fine particles.

During the summer we can have poor air quality due to wildfire smoke (fine particles), ground-level ozone, or a combination of these two pollutants. 

The Current Air Quality Index reports the dominant pollutant for that particular hour. Even when we have lots of wildfire smoke, ozone may be the dominant pollutant that is driving the air quality index. This is mostly likely to occur during daylight hours because sunlight is needed to form ozone. Wildfire smoke contains ozone precursors, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, as well as fine particulates.

Our partner, the Spokane Regional Health District, provides health-related information about smoke as well as home and emergency preparedness steps.

Check out Frequently-asked questions for helpful information about wildfire smoke.

When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may affected. Listen to your body and contact your health care provider if you are experiencing smoke-related health symptoms, including eye, nose, and throat irritation; coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or headaches.
Children, older adults, pregnant or nursing women, and people with asthma or heart conditions are at greater risk and should take added precautions. These individuals should have an up-to-date plan in place with their health care team prior to wildfire season. 

Because we may experience significant smoke again, it’s wise to be prepared. This is especially important for the health of children, older adults and people with heart or lung disease.

To help, we’ve provided links to several resources (green column on the left.)

3104 E Augusta Ave, Spokane, WA 99207 · (509) 477-4727 · working with you for clean air

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