Fire Department Offers Advice to Deal with Smoky Conditions

Brian Schaeffer, Asst. Fire Chief, 625-7002

Friday, August 21, 2015 at 4:20 p.m.

Spokane Fire Department and the Combined Communications Center have been receiving abundant 9-1-1 calls from people concerned about smoke in the region.

“We are closely monitoring the air quality as conditions have worsened due to smoke from numerous wildfires across Washington State,” says Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. “Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors such as our current sustained winds and predicted gusts as we progress through this Red Flag Warning.”

The SFD is encouraging people to monitor air quality conditions when planning activities. Please continue to check the Clean Air Authority’s website at for the latest updates. Persons at risk such as older adults, young children, and people with asthma, respiratory, or heart conditions are very susceptible to the impacts of wildfire smoke and should avoid the outside.

Additionally, the following precautions should be taken to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions:

  • Avoid outdoor activities, especially vigorous activities, when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous. Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable.
  • Protect yourself by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors. Use recirculating air conditioning systems in your home or car if available.
  • Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, and wood burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.
  • Individuals with heart disease or lung diseases such as asthma should follow their health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Heavy smoke has settled into many stretches of Interstate 90 and highways throughout the region. Drivers should use extreme caution when traveling through areas where smoke can decrease visibility. SFD is expecting these weather and atmospheric conditions to continue through the Red Flag period.