For Immediate Release
July 19, 2022, Jackson, WY – As wildfires burn in surrounding areas and wildland fire smoke settles in the valley, Teton County Health Department encourages Jackson residents to be mindful of the potential health effects caused by wildfire smoke.
Wildfire smoke can hurt your eyes, aggravate respiratory problems, and worsen the symptoms of heart or lung disease. According to Teton District Health Officer, Dr. Travis Riddell, MD, MPH, “Everyone should avoid prolonged outdoor exercise when the air quality index, AQI, exceeds 200 and our local air is ‘Very Unhealthy’ or ‘Hazardous’ as defined by AirNow. Those at-risk should be especially careful in limiting their smoke exposure.” At-risk individuals include people who have pre-existing heart and respiratory conditions, including allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Older adults are more likely to be affected because they are more likely to have heart or lung disease, and children are vulnerable because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.
When staying indoors because of wildfire smoke people should keep their indoor air as clean as possible. Below are a few suggestions residents should follow:
- Try to keep windows and doors closed.
- Keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean if you run an air conditioner.
- Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.
- When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves.
- Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.
- Do not smoke, because it increases a person’s total exposure to particulate matter in the air.
For more information and links to air quality data please visit Teton County Health Department’s webpage, http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/589/Protect-Yourself-From-Wildfire-Smoke.