(By Tommy Díaz, Healthy People & Communities Program Manager)
It seems to have become a sad aspect of the summer season: every year hotter temperatures bring along wildfires, heat waves and smoke. So far we’ve seen Canada going through its “worst wildfire season in a century”, an apocalyptic-looking New York City sky blanketed under smoke coming from the North, and a busy season is expected around the Pacific Northwest and California.
We can’t stress enough the importance of being aware of heat and smoke waves.
Moreover, if you live around frontline communities, you necessarily are more likely to be exposed to these not uncommon phenomena. As the climate crisis grows so does the occurrence of these and other natural disasters.
Heat waves can affect people differently, depending on age and health conditions, so it’s important to know when they are coming. If they are and you can’t avoid being exposed, make sure you have plenty of water at hand, to be covered from direct sunlight and to take plenty of breaks in the shade.
Smoke from wildfires can pose large health risks, so we urge you to stay indoors.
If you are in an area prone to be affected by smoke waves, local and State Health authorities suggest checking the Air Quality Index (AQI), installing air filters around the house, using air cleaners and wearing N95 masks for the best possible protection. If you would like to learn more please contact us. Let’s make sure to keep our families and communities safe this wildfire season!
Learn more: Pesticide Application & Heat Stress
Donate: 2023 Heat & Smoke Relief Fund for Idaho's Farm Workers
The Idaho Immigrant Resource Alliance (IIRA) is fundraising for Heat and Smoke Relief for Idaho Farm Workers. As global temperatures continue to rise, farm workers are 35 times more likely to die from heat related illness according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In response to Idaho's farm workers working in record breaking 100+ degree heat the past 2 years and through thick smoke to feed our nation, IIRA is organizing mutual aid and direct action. Join us in building awareness and protecting the lives of those who feed us!