Washington State Department of Health is encouraging people in areas affected by wildfire smoke to take necessary steps to protect themselves from poor air quality.
People can take the following steps to protect themselves from smoke due to wildfires:
- Visit the Washington Smoke Blog or contact local regional clean air agency.
- Stay indoors, avoid strenuous physical activities outside, and keep indoor air clean. Close windows and doors. Use fans or an air conditioner (AC) when it is hot, and set your AC to recirculate. If you do not have AC and it is too hot to stay home, go to a place with AC such as a mall or library. Remember to stay hydrated. Do not smoke, use candles, or vacuum. Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Contact a health care provider if there are specific health concerns, and dial 911 for emergency assistance if symptoms are serious.
Smoke from wildfires especially increases health risks for babies, children, people over 65, pregnant women, and those with health conditions, such as heart and lung diseases or diabetes.
Breathing smoky air can cause a wide range of symptoms from watery eyes and coughing to chest pain and asthma attacks. People with heart or lung diseases such as asthma are more likely to experience serious and life-threatening symptoms.