How To Stay Safe When Wildfire Smoke Blows Your Way

Jul 22, 2016

The Cliff Creek Fire as seen on Monday.
Credit National Interagency Fire Center

Teton County health officials are warning people living in communities near wildfires about lower air quality.

Wildfire smoke has particles in it from burning material that when inhaled can be harmful on the body, especially during exercise. These particles can irritate an individual’s eyes, lungs and throat.

“You know, it’s not a good time when it’s really smoky out to go run to the top of the mountain,” Rachael Wheeler of Teton County Public Health said. “You don’t really want to aggravate your body when the air isn’t clean.”

Wheeler said the health of elderly people and children are most risk from wildfire smoke inhalation. She said a good way to know if wildfire smoke is in the air is to look for landmarks in the distance. If Grand Teton Mountain is not visible because of smoke for example, then air quality is poor.

Wheeler said, not exercising when wildfire smoke is present outside, closing windows, not vacuuming and not starting campfires are ways to avoid the health effects of wildfire smoke.