Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire Smoke

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:


Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM)

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.

Wildfire Smoke and Air Resources

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).