Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

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Wildfire smoke can cause symptoms that range from the annoying — eye, nose, and throat irritation — to the dangerous — wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.

Wildfire smoke is especially harmful for children, pregnant women, and people who are over 65. And if you already have a heart or lung condition like asthma or COVID-19, breathing in wildfire smoke can make it worse.

Take steps to keep smoke out and have better indoor air quality.

  • You can do this by improving filtration and creating a clean air room in your home. If you create a homemade box fan air filter, never leave it unattended. Left alone, it is a fire hazard.
  • When the air quality is poor, don’t add to indoor air pollution by burning candles or incense, or smoking inside.
  • Close windows and doors when it’s smoky outside but open windows and let in fresh air when there’s better air quality outside.
  • Wear your cloth face covering to slow the spread of COVID-19, but don’t think it is protecting you from the smoke. It keeps droplets from spreading, but lets dangerous microscopic smoke particles right in.
  • Stay informed about wildfire smoke on the Washington Smoke Information blog and your local clean air agency’s website.

For more information to protect your health visit DOH's Smoke from Fires web page.

On Tuesday, September 8, the Mercer Island Fire Marshal's Office issued a burn ban and tips to help prevent or stop the spread of brush fires. Follow this link for more information: www.mercerisland.gov/burnban.
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