Air Quality Expert Sarah Coefield on Wildfire Smoke Preparedness Week


As timely as it might have been, Missoula County Health Department air quality specialist Sarah Coefield was on KGVO’s Talk Back the same day an air quality alert was issued. air was announced due to smoke from forest fires.

Coefield and the Department of Health want everyone to know that this week was set aside for providing important information on human safety by making indoor air quality a priority.

“It’s Wildfire Smoke Ready week,” Coefield said. “This is an opportunity for us to flood the airwaves and try to tell people all the simple steps you can take to create cleaner indoor air spaces and get through this fire season. We also have information on what to do if you need to be outside and how to stay as safe as possible. “

Forest Fire Smoke Readiness Week

Indoors or outdoors, Coefield said residents of Missoula must do everything possible to protect their health from wildfire smoke.

“If you go to Montana Wildfire Smoke dot org this is a great website with all the information you could possibly need on how to stay safe in different situations, how to create clean indoor air and what to do for different setups. of home and commercial buildings, “she said. “Also, what if you have to be outdoors, if you are an outdoor worker, some considerations you may have to stay as healthy as possible, as some people have to be outdoors and there are some things you can do? So there are some things they can do to try to stay safe during what could be a long smoke season.

Coefield said the first priority for everyone is to protect themselves and their families from the current heat wave.

“Well the first wildfire smoke is really bad for you, but the heat will kill you faster,” she said. “It is very, very important to refresh your home. So if you can tolerate a little smoke, and that’s a terrible thing to say, you have to open your windows. You have to let this cooler air in and you have to cool your house. The most recent heat wave is estimated to have killed several hundred people in the Pacific Northwest so far. We have another one on the horizon so you need to be able to cool your house down and unfortunately that means smoke is going to get inside. “

As part of Wildfire Smoke Ready Week, Coefield said there will be a special presentation Wednesday night at Imagine Nation Brewing on West Broadway.

“At Imagination Brewing from 5.30pm to 7.00pm, we’ll be there as with an ‘Ask the Expert’ opportunity for people who have more questions or would love to have had those conversations about what to do during a smoke season forest fire. I will be there along with a Tom Javins who is a local expert engineer on the subject. And then we will also test the taste of the new beer for the forest fire smoke prep week called Deep Breath. “

Click here for the latest air quality updates.

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