Spokane Fire Department: Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Spokane Fire Department: Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

Photo from Facebook friend Ralph Stephens: Smoke plume over Brewster, WA. Photo from Facebook friend Ralph Stephens: Smoke plume over Brewster, WA.
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FROM THE SPOKANE FIRE DEPARTMENT: When wildfires burn in the Northwest, they produce smoke that often reach your Spokane. Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

Who is at greatest risk from wildfire smoke? .People who have heart or lung diseases, like congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including emphysema), or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.

In general, people with these conditions are at higher risk of having health problems than healthy people. .Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases. Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke.

Children's airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. In addition, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play. Take steps to decrease your risk from wildfire smoke. .Check local air quality reports. Listen and watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Visit Spokane County Clean Agency's website often (www.spokanecleanair.org) to monitor conditions.

In addition, pay attention to public health messages about taking safety measures from the Spokane Fire Department. Keep indoor air as clean as possible if you are advised to stay indoors.

Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek a shelter away from the affected area.

Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Burning candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves can increase indoor pollution. Vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home, contributing to indoor pollution.

Smoking also puts even more pollution into the air. .Follow the advice of your doctor or other healthcare provider about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Consider leaving the area if you are having trouble breathing. Call for further advice if your symptoms worsen.

Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper "comfort" or "dust" masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will NOT protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.

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