The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

Air quality degraded by wildfires across the state


August 16, 2018

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 daily or contact the local regional clean air agency for updates on area wildfires and potential air quality risks.

When air quality it poor, stay indoors, avoid strenuous physical activities outside and keep indoor air clean. Remember to close all windows and doors, and make sure they seal tightly.

When it hot, use fans or an air conditioner (AC) and set the AC unit to recirculate. This will reduce the amount of air coming in from the outside.

For those homes who do not have AC and it is too hot to stay home, go to a place with AC such as a mall or library.

The most important reminder is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause serious health problems and can be deadly.

Also, remember not to smoke, use candles, or vacuum when the air quality is poor in order to reduce the amount of pollution within the home. Always use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Contact your healthcare provider when you have 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.

Remember to check in on the elderly in the heat and during poor air quality days to ensure they are healthy and hydrated.

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.

The DOH website,, is a consistent source for a healthy dose of information.


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