With wild fires still burning in many areas in Washington State and as far away as Canada air quality has been getting worse each day. Conditions remain in the 'Unhealthy Zone' in the Columbia Basin and beyond here's what you need to pay attention to...

According to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency:

“Wildfire smoke has the potential to significantly impact air quality, as we’ve seen over the past few summers. Smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles. The severity of its impact depends on weather patterns. If the air isn’t moving, the concentration of fine particles increases,” said Julie Oliver, executive director of Spokane Clean Air.

Breathing in smoke can make anyone sick, including symptoms such as:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing normally
  • Stinging eyes
  • A scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • An asthma attack
  • Tiredness
  • Fast heartbeat

"Smoke from wildfires is especially harmful for those with health conditions like asthma or heart disease. We recommend people who are sensitive to poor air quality have a plan in place with their health care provider for breathing management and keep medications on hand," said Dr. Bob Lutz, SRHD health officer.

Children are more susceptible to smoke as their respiratory systems are still developing, they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults, and they are more likely to be active outdoors.

Individuals who are more susceptible to the effects of smoke should plan to limit their time outdoors when air quality is poor.

See The Current Level Below for Tri-Cities

Stacy Lee
Stacy Lee