Health district encourages residents to download free Red Cross Wildfire App

For more information, contact Kim Papich, (509) 324-1539 or

SPOKANE, Wash. - July 30, 2014 - Wildfires have already destroyed approximately 300,000 acres in Washington and officials are asking for other states to send firefighters to help put out the flames. Although Spokane remains relatively untouched, and staff at Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) are not directly supporting the affected residents and first responders, we can offer residents resources to prepare for similar disasters locally.

A great first step is downloading the free Red Cross Wildfire App  for preloaded content that lets users know what they should do before, during and after a wildfire.


Also, if residents live near a fire, they should stay informed about the situation and be ready to leave their homes at a moment’s notice. Other safety steps include:,>

  • Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Be cautious driving in the area - winds can unexpectedly cause poor visibility on the roads.
  • Drivers should also watch for downed power lines and poles.
  • Listen and watch for air quality reports and health warnings about smoke. People with health conditions need to take extra precautions.
  • Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.
  • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you do not have air conditioning and it is too hot to stay inside with closed windows, seek shelter elsewhere.
  • When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves. Do not vacuum because it stirs up particles that are already inside your home.
  • If you have asthma or another lung disease, follow your health care provider's advice and seek medical care if your symptoms worsen.

More emergency preparedeness information can also be found on the health district’s site atat The site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.