Health District

Posted on: September 5, 2017

Wildfire Smoke in Yakima County

During “very unhealthy” air quality conditions, it is recommended that students stay indoors and keep activity levels light during recess and P.E. It is also recommended that athletic events and practices are held indoors or canceled. As wildfire season continues, protect you and your family by avoiding going outdoors as much as possible. Outdoor smoke contains very small particles and gases, including carbon monoxide. These particles can get into your eyes and lungs where they can cause health problems.

When smoke levels are high, people may experience symptoms or health problems such as:

  • Coughing, scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and runny nose.
  • People who have heart disease might experience chest pain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
    To avoid experiencing symptoms, keep your windows, doors, and vents closed while at home and driving in your car. Don’t add to indoor pollution by using vacuums, candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves.
    Young children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions are the most vulnerable to smoke associated health problems. If you have any lung or heart diseases (such as asthma), avoid strenuous activity outdoors. Make sure you follow your doctor's directions about taking your medications and follow your asthma management plan.
    Call your health care provider if you have any questions or your symptoms worsen.

    For more information: Washington Smoke Information http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/p/national-interagency-fire-information.html
    Washington State Department of Health Air Pollution and School Activities http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-332.pdf 
    Washington’s Air Monitoring Network https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/ 
    Face Masks http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-353.pdf

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