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From air quality concerns to evacuations, wildfires impact pretty much everyone. We've rounded up some resources to make sure you're prepared as we head into Idaho's wildfire season.

Wildfire Smoke Creates Unhealthy Conditions Across The Mountain West

Courtesy Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Air quality in Boise to the Treasure Valley ranks from moderate to unhealthy, due to smoke. Sensitive groups should stay inside.

We want to hear YOUR questions about wildfire. Click here to submit your question to the Wanna Know Idaho podcast.

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.



Amanda Peacher works for the Mountain West News Bureau out of Boise State Public Radio. She's an Idaho native who returned home after a decade of living and reporting in Oregon. She's an award-winning reporter with a background in community engagement and investigative journalism.