Fires across the West are creating a lot of smoke. That means poor air quality in many parts of our region.
If you live in Boise or Salt Lake City, you’ve probably noticed a gray film over the summer sky this week. Smoke from fires as far away as California is blowing into the Mountain West. That means some groups have to be careful because of unhealthy air quality.
Chris Smith is with Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare. He recommends parents keep young kids indoors.
“Infants and young children actually suffer more from smoke because they breathe a lot more air for their body size than adults do, plus their airway respiratory systems are still developing,” Smith says.
The elderly, people with heart or lung conditions, and pregnant women should also avoid breathing in the smoke. If you don’t have air conditioning, Smith recommends spending time at libraries or movie theaters that do.
“If you’re at home, keep your windows and doors closed,” he says.
There’s no exact prediction for when the air will clear—that depends on how long wildfires carry on, and when we get strong winds from the east.
To check the status of air quality in your community, visit this link.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.