NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: July 17, 2014
Contact: Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Officer
Smoke is becoming an issue statewide; public health officials expand advisory
Smoke from wildfires in Idaho and neighboring states is affecting the air quality in nearly every Idaho community, and public health officials are reminding residents to be aware of the conditions so they can take proper precautions. Air quality in the Treasure Valley is fluctuating and is reaching unhealthy levels at times, and most air quality monitoring across Idaho is currently showing levels in the moderate range. Conditions aren’t expected to change significantly through the weekend.
“As wildfire season continues, air quality will change depending on weather patterns and wildfire activity,” said Jim Vannoy, environmental health manager for the Department of Health and Welfare. “Idahoans should be aware of this and check air quality on a regular basis so they can take appropriate actions if they are planning to work or exercise outside. We’re especially concerned about people who might be more sensitive than most to the smoke in the air.”
Older adults, infants, children and people with medical conditions such as asthma, lung disease, and heart disease are more sensitive to poor air quality. People who use inhalers for asthma or other conditions should keep them close at hand. Everyone is advised to seek medical treatment for uncontrolled coughing, wheezing, choking, or if breathing difficulties continues after they move indoors.
To reduce exposure to smoke to protect people’s health, public health officials advise:
For more complete information about wildfires in your area, updates on air quality conditions and more resources, visit the Idaho Smoke Information Blog.