Environmental Health & Safety

Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire Smoke


Photo courtesy of Bugwood.org

Smoke from wildfires and other sources is a mixture of gases and fine particulates that can be harmful to your health.  Smoke may worsen symptoms for individuals who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  When smoke levels are high enough even healthy individuals may experience symptoms, and should avoid going outdoors.  Sensitive individuals with heart and/or lung diseases, diabetes, respiratory infections, strokes, infants and children, and adults older than 65 are even more susceptible to smoke, and should avoid going outside even when the smoke levels are acceptable for healthy individuals:

The following Resources provide more information that can assist you with determining what the current outdoor air quality is in various locations in Washington, a Health Effects Index for different ranges of smoke and what it means for individuals, the WA Department of Ecology (DOE) Air Monitoring Web Site, various WA Department of Health (DOH) air quality web sites, and the Whitman County Public Health Department (WCHD).

Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) at WSU

In an effort to provide current information to students, staff, faculty and visitors a Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) was installed on the roof of Martin Stadium. The data collected is shared with the community to help everyone make informed decisions about their health. EH&S works with Facilities Services, Housing and Dining, Cougar Health Services, and Emergency Management to ensure information is disseminated.

Air Quality Monitoring at WSU

Washington Smoke and Air Resources:

Washington Real-Time Air Monitoring Data Map

Health Effects Index (Washington Air Quality Advisory)

WSU Wildfire/Outdoor Smoke and Particulate Safety Policies and Procedures Manual

WSU Wildfire/Outdoor Smoke and Particulate Program Document

Washington Smoke Information

Air Monitoring Web Site (DOE)

Outdoor Air Quality (DOH)

Smoke from Fires (DOH)

Wildfire Smoke (DOH)

Air Quality: Measures and Data (DOH)

Whitman County Current Health Alerts (WCHD Public Health)

Department of Ecology Air Quality Web Site

WSU Laboratory for Atmospheric Research Daily Air Quality Forecasting System


Environmental Health & Safety, PO Box 641172, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1172, 509-335-3041, Contact Us