Air quality diminishes as smoke blankets eastern Washington - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Air quality diminishes as smoke blankets eastern Washington

Posted: Updated:
Smoke blankets Spokane Smoke blankets Spokane
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Are your eyes burning a little bit today? Did you wake up this morning, walk outside and take a deep breath, only to feel like you're in a campfire or a 1980s karaoke dive bar? You're not alone. 

Smoke from area wildfires settled in Tuesday morning and blanketed Spokane. Both the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency and AirNow list our area air quality as "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups." 

"Depending on the wind and wildfire activity, the Air Quality Index may fluctuate between Moderate (yellow) and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange) today and Tuesday, according to Lisa Woodard, Public Information Officer for Spokane Clean Air.  "The severity of the smoke impacts depends on weather patterns. If the air isn't moving, the concentration of fine particles increases," added Woodard.  

Check Air Quality near you HERE or HERE.

The SRCAA offered the following advice for those having trouble with the smoke: 

Smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles. Breathing smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is enough smoke in the air. Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

  • 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

It's important that individuals limit their exposure to smoke - especially if they are susceptible. Here are some steps people can take to protect themselves from smoke:

  • Pay attention to air quality reports. The Air Quality Index (AQI) uses color-coded categories to report when air quality is good, moderate or unhealthy.   
  • Use common sense. If it looks and smells smoky outside, it is probably not a good time to go for a jog, mow the lawn or allow children to play outdoors.
  • Individuals with asthma or other respiratory or lung conditions should follow their provider's directions on taking medicines. They should call their provider if symptoms worsen.
  • If a person has heart or lung disease, is an older adult, or has children, they should talk with their provider about whether and when they should leave the area. When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though a person may not see them.
  • Some room air cleaners can help reduce particulate levels indoors, as long as they are the right type and size for your home.
  • Paper "comfort" or "dust masks" are not the answer. The kinds of masks that people can commonly buy at the hardware store are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. But they generally will not protect lungs from the fine particles in smoke.
  • Respiratory masks labeled N95 or N100 provide some protection - they filter out some fine particles but not hazardous gases in smoke (such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and acrolein.) This type of mask can be found at many hardware and home repair stores and pharmacies.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:23:12 GMT
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>
  • Michigan mother leaves 2 infant girls in suitcase on curb

    Michigan mother leaves 2 infant girls in suitcase on curb

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:16 AM EDT2018-04-19 15:16:15 GMT

    FLINT, Mich. - Police say a 26-year-old Michigan woman left her two infant daughters inside a suitcase on the side of the road as child welfare workers arrived to take the children away. Police say officers assisting Child Protective Services workers Wednesday were unable to find the children inside the Flint home, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

    >>

    FLINT, Mich. - Police say a 26-year-old Michigan woman left her two infant daughters inside a suitcase on the side of the road as child welfare workers arrived to take the children away. Police say officers assisting Child Protective Services workers Wednesday were unable to find the children inside the Flint home, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

    >>
  • Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-04-18 20:40:25 GMT

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • CAUGHT ON CAMERA: 7-year-old boy get dragged off bus by his feet

    CAUGHT ON CAMERA: 7-year-old boy get dragged off bus by his feet

    Thursday, April 19 2018 3:50 PM EDT2018-04-19 19:50:33 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Shocking footage is making its way around the internet showing a seven-year-old boy getting dragged by his feet on a Memphis school bus. The incident was captured on a cell phone by another student aboard the bus and shows the young boy, a student at Robert R. Church Elementary School, getting forcibly removed from the bus by an unidentified male employee.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Shocking footage is making its way around the internet showing a seven-year-old boy getting dragged by his feet on a Memphis school bus. The incident was captured on a cell phone by another student aboard the bus and shows the young boy, a student at Robert R. Church Elementary School, getting forcibly removed from the bus by an unidentified male employee.

    >>
  • Sam Strahan's mother set to speak at Art 4 Reform, an event showcasing paintings of school shooting victims

    Sam Strahan's mother set to speak at Art 4 Reform, an event showcasing paintings of school shooting victims

    Thursday, April 19 2018 2:05 PM EDT2018-04-19 18:05:13 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two Spokane mothers are launching a non-profit to inspire common sense gun laws and legislative reform for safer schools.  Carolina Johnson and her friend, Janelle Carney have started Art4Reform and hope powerful displays of art will move people to get involved with their local government and advocate for safer communities.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two Spokane mothers are launching a non-profit to inspire common sense gun laws and legislative reform for safer schools.  Carolina Johnson and her friend, Janelle Carney have started Art4Reform and hope powerful displays of art will move people to get involved with their local government and advocate for safer communities.

    >>
  • Prince's doctor fined for illegal prescription

    Prince's doctor fined for illegal prescription

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:21 PM EDT2018-04-19 17:21:42 GMT

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim. The settlement comes as state prosecutors are planning to announce whether anyone will be charged in the two-year investigation into Prince's death. Prince died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. No one has been criminally charged.

    >>

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim. The settlement comes as state prosecutors are planning to announce whether anyone will be charged in the two-year investigation into Prince's death. Prince died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. No one has been criminally charged.

    >>