Smoke Ready Week, Day 3: Smoke and your health

Today’s theme for #SmokeReady Week is “Smoke and your health.” Smoke from wildfires and other sources can have serious health impacts, particularly on children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions. Smoke can cause difficulty breathing, increase the risk of asthma attacks and heart attacks, and cause eye irritation. Stay informed about air quality in your area by using resources like the Washington Smoke Information ( and the AirNow app.

When smoke levels reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category, people with heart or lung diseases, pregnant women, people over 65, and babies and children should limit time outdoors and keep indoor air clean. If air quality worsens and smoke levels reach “unhealthy,” “very unhealthy” or hazardous” categories, everyone should limit their time outdoors, avoid exercise outdoors, and take steps to keep indoor air clean. Check outdoor air quality for your area on the ORCAA air monitoring page, or on the Department of Ecology interactive map page. During wildfire smoke episodes, check Burn Portal – WA DNR and the Washington Smoke Blog.

Keep Indoor Air Clean

Close windows and doors, but be mindful of the heat and stay hydrated to avoid other health problems. Use fans indoors, and if you have an air conditioner, set it to recirculate. Use a HEPA air cleaner. Don’t add to indoor air pollution; avoid using candles, and don’t smoke or vacuum while it’s smoky outside. For proven strategies for helping improve indoor conditions during smoke events, see our recent blog post here.


Media Contact

Dan Nelson

Communications/Outreach Manager