Air quality is a measure of how clean or polluted the air is. In Idaho, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is responsible for monitoring air quality. Smoke is the most common pollutant in our area. Since wildfire smoke is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, accurate and timely smoke forecasts can save lives.
Dry conditions in Idaho increase the potential for wildfires in and near wilderness areas. Stay alert for wildfire warnings and take action to protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke.
Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, perhaps due to their increased risk of heart and lung diseases.
Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing, and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also spend more time outdoors engaged in activity and play.
People who have heart or lung diseases, like congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (including emphysema), or asthma, are at higher risk from wildfire smoke.
The Southwest and Central Health Districts want to inform the public of the risk of illness in the region when recreating in bodies of water that have Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) during the summer months.