Prepare now for wildfire smoke

image of forest fire and smoke
Photo courtesy of the CDC

This part of the state has been spared from the wildfire smoke and unhealthy air quality that accompanies it so far this year. However, dry conditions in eastern Washington will most likely create conditions for more wildfires this summer. Even though the air quality is currently healthy here, it’s a good time to prepare now to reduce the risk of wildfire smoke.

You can take steps now to prepare:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk, especially if you or someone in your family has a health condition like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.
  • Take steps to keep indoor air cleaner by not smoking inside, ventilating well when cooking or using candles, and not smoking inside.
  • Invest in an air purifying or cleaning device, like a simple and low-cost with a filter (Learn how to make one here and in the video below). Air filters are in high-demand during smoke events, so get one ahead of time if possible.
  • Monitor local forecasts and air quality using websites like airnow.gov.
  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts at Alert.Seattle.gov.

If smoke does impact Seattle this summer, you should take steps to protect your health:

  • Check local air quality reports and listen to news or health warnings for your community.
  • Avoid physical exertion outdoors if smoke is in the air.
  • Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep doors and windows closed.
  • Pay attention to the heat indoors. If you can, run an air conditioner, set it to re-circulate and close the fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter regularly.
  • NOTE: While it’s best to stay inside to avoid smoke, N95 and KN95 respirators can provide temporary protection from wildfire smoke. Cloth and paper masks will not help.

To learn more about how to stay safe from wildfire smoke and get updates on the city’s response actions, visit https://www.seattle.gov/wildfire-smoke-safety.

Staying safe during a wildfire from the CDC