Heat and wildfire smoke safety

Space needle

SHA emphasizes the importance of taking heat and wildfire smoke warnings seriously. Please follow this public health guidance to ensure your well-being and that of others around you. In these temperatures, it’s easy to get dehydrated and overheated. In extreme cases, this can lead to life-threatening heatstroke. 

Key messages from Public Health - Seattle & King County about wildfire smoke: 

  • Stay safe indoors and avoid outdoor exercise when the air quality index (AQI) is above 150. Check local AQI at PSCleanAir.org and 5-day smoke forecasts at WAsmoke.blogspot.com.
  • People with asthma, heart and lung conditions, or diabetes should move indoors when AQI is above 100, and keep inhalers and medications on hand. Children, adults ages 65 and over, and pregnant people are also at higher risk from smoke.
  • Close windows and doors on smoky days. Create a clean air room using a HEPA or DIY box fan filter or move to a mall, library, cooling shelter, or other air-conditioned spaces if it becomes too hot.

More information

Safety tips and resources for heat

Hot weather preparedness 

Stay cool

  • Spend time in air-conditioned buildings (such as malls, movie theaters, or libraries) if you can and avoid direct contact with the sun.
  • Look for information on public cooling centers when the temperatures rise. 
  • Reduce physical activity and move to shaded areas.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning or evening hours.
  • Cool your body down quickly by wearing a wet scarf, bandana or shirt.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can be dehydrating.

No infants, children and pets in parked cars

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open. It only takes a few minutes for severe medical problems and even death to occur.

Watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke

  • Seek medical care immediately if you know someone who experiences symptoms.

Check the local weather forecast

  • The National Weather Service is the best place to access the most current weather and forecast information.

More information

Additional resources 

Seattle Parks and Recreation: Spray Parks and Wading Pools