Welcome to the Washington Smoke blog, a partnership between state, county, and federal agencies, and Indian Tribes. We coordinate to collectively share info for Washington communities affected by wildfire smoke.
If the air monitoring map doesn't display here, links to additional monitoring maps can be found under the 'Monitoring & Forecasting' tab.
Eye, nose, and throat irritation (burning eyes and runny nose)
Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and headache
Aggravation of existing lung, heart and circulatory conditions, including asthma and angina
Who is especially sensitive to smoke? Inhaling smoke is not good for anyone, even healthy people. People most likely to have health problems from breathing smoke include:
People with lung diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including bronchitis and emphysema.
People with respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, acute bronchitis, bronchiolitis, colds, or flu.
People with existing heart or circulatory problems, such as dysrhythmias, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and angina.
People with a prior history of heart attack or stroke.
Infants and children under 18 because their lungs and airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.
Older adults (over age 65) because they are more likely to have unrecognized heart or lung diseases.
Pregnant women because both the mother and fetus are at increased risk of health effects.
People who smoke because they are more likely to already have lower lung function and lung diseases.
People with diabetes because they are more likely to have an undiagnosed cardiovascular disease.
What can I do to protect myself and my family from
Avoid physical exertion outdoors if smoke is in the air.
If you have asthma or other lung diseases, make sure you follow your doctor's directions about taking your medicines and follow your asthma management plan. Call your health care provider if your symptoms worsen.
Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Take the following steps when indoors:
Keep windows and doors closed. Track the outside air quality and open your windows for fresh air when the air quality improves. Pay attention to the heat indoors. Close curtains to reduce heat gain during the hottest part of the day. Use fans to circulate the air.
Run an air conditioner, set it to re-circulate and close the fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter regularly.
Use an air cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce indoor air pollution, this will reduce the number of irritating fine particles in indoor air. A HEPA filter with charcoal will help remove some of the gases from the smoke. Don’t use an air cleaner that produces ozone. See California’s air cleaning devices for the home fact sheet (PDF).
Don’t add to indoor pollution. Don’t smoke. Don’t use food broilers, candles, incense, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don’t vacuum unless your vacuum has a HEPA filter, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.
Consider leaving the area if the air quality is poor and it's not possible to keep indoor air clean, especially if you or those you are caring for are having health problems or are in a sensitive group.