Health Officials Warn About High Temperatures, Smoky Air

Aug 8, 2018

Spokane County health officials urge people to be cautious with the heat and smoky conditions the next few days.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Spokane Clean Air Agency says the county’s air quality is in the unhealthy range.

Between the smoke and the intense heat expected through the rest of the week, local health agencies are warning people to be extra cautious the next few days as temperatures approach record levels.

Starting with the heat, Kim Papich from the Spokane Regional Health District says the idea is to stay inside when possible, preferably in a place with fans or air conditioning. And if you have events, you might reconsider attending.

“Really what we’re saying is that anything over 103, you might need to cancel your event. You might need to bring your event indoors. You might need to have your event happen outside of the times of day when the heat is at its highest," Papich said.

She says some agencies, such as the city of Spokane’s Parks and Recreation Department has already cancelled outdoor events for the next few days.

As for the smoke, Papich says, it’s best to stay inside. Some people have taken to wearing masks. She says they're not the best solution.

“The important thing to know about masks is they can offer some protection for some people for a limited amount of time," she said.

"It can’t be the typical household masks, it has to be the respirator mask. It has to be properly fitted, which is a challenge for anybody with facial hair. It can’t be used with children. The mask cannot be used for people with underlying health conditions. You start stacking up some of those precautionary things that go along with masks and you quickly get to a point where it’s just easier to stay inside,” Papich said.

The Spokane Clean Air Agency has the latest air quality information on its website. The health district has idea for taking precautions with this weather on its website.