Safer Air Center Closing Today

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Friday, September 18, 2020 at 8:18 a.m.

The City of Spokane will deactivate the regional temporary, short-term drop-in safer air center air quality conditions impacted by heavy smoke in the area are expected to steadily improve. The safer air shelter which has served nearly 200 people will discontinue operating Friday at 8 a.m. at the Spokane Convention Center. 

The temporary regional safer air center has operated 24 hours a day at the Spokane Convention Center since Saturday night while the air quality index remained above 250 for anyone who needed a place to seek relief from the smoke regardless of their housing situation.

“We are grateful to the many community organizations who have been able to support the effort to provide temporary relief from hazardous air quality levels,” Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said. 

Several local organizations stepped up to support the Safer Air Center:

  • Civil Air Patrol
  • 2nd Harvest
  • Washington National Guard
  • HEART Animal Rescue
  • Project Beauty Share
  • Community Agencies Active in Disaster (COAD)
  • AmeriGroup
  • United Way of Spokane County
  • Women & Children’s Free Restaurant
  • Public Facilities District
  • Spokane Street Medicine
  • Starbucks
  • MultiCare

City Community, Housing, and Human Services staff are coordinating with shelter providers and outreach staff to communicate and transition patrons out of the facility. The regional safer air center supplemented those facilities while the smoke remained at or above very unhealthy levels.

Spokane Fire Department paramedics will continue to be available to check on at-risk groups via the 911 system.  At risk groups include:

  • People who have heart or lung diseases, like heart disease, lung disease, or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
  • Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke. This may be due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
  • Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke. Children’s airways are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children often spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.