Wildfire season is fast approaching! Smoke from wildfires impacts local air quality and can cause health effects, especially for individuals with pre-existing health issues and others especially sensitive to smoke pollution. Every year there are preventable hospitalizations and unanticipated deaths attributable to wildfire smoke exposure.
Use the following resources to prepare you and your loved ones ahead of time to minimize their exposure to wildfire smoke, minimize symptoms in the event of exposure.
Know when to limit outdoor activities when air quality is poor.
- Washington Air Quality Advisory: An information tool to advise you about air quality levels
- Washington Smokeblog: Webpage with interactive map for smoke forecasts and real-time air quality information as well as links to health information.
- Here is the outdoor activity guide for youth that provides recommendations for recess, P.E., and athletic events and practices during smoky conditions.
Know how to manage physical and mental symptoms from smoke impact—including that different sources have different triggering effects.
- Department of Health’s information on health impacts: Comprehensive webpages with frequently asked questions and a toolkit. You should be able to find the answer to most questions and links to other resources.
- Here is a the Know the Symptoms fact sheet that provides information about health effects from wildfire smoke exposure.
Talk with your provider if you have a pre-existing condition and ensure a medical response plan is in place.
- Include a plan for when and where to seek medical care.
- Identify possible medication changes, such as increased use of respiratory and allergy medications.
Know the steps to take to improve indoor air quality
Use your best judgement for respiratory protection.
- Here is a factsheet about N95 masks that provides recommendations and information about respirator use, as they are not routinely recommended.
Know your local outdoor air authority and public health contacts BEFORE wildfire season!
|Skagit County Public Health
700 South 2nd Street #301
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
|Northwest Clean Air Agency
1600 South 2nd Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
These recommendations and resources were compiled by the Wildfire Smoke Impacts Advisory Group. This is a workgroup consisting of local and state agencies with the intent of distributing consistent health messaging throughout Washington.