• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma OpenData

Air Quality

Smoke Ready Communities Awareness Day-June 19, 2019

The City of Tacoma joined communities throughout the Puget Sound Region in proclaiming Wednesday, June 19, 2019, as the inaugural “Smoke Ready Communities Awareness Day” to help community members to better understand the risks of smoke, how to reduce the health risks and where to go for help.


Air Quality Resources

Hotter, drier and longer summers in the Pacific Northwest are linked to climate change and those conditions are causing larger and more frequent wildfires. The smoke from wildfires reduces visibility and creates outdoor air quality issues that can affect people’s health.


During Wildfire Smoke Season follow these steps to protect your health in the haze:


Check the Air Quality Level. Smoke is unhealthy for all people, yet for women who are pregnant, children and the elderly, and those who have respiratory issues like asthma, COPD, people who smoke, have disabilities have heart or circulatory problems.


Talk with your health care provider if you have respiratory or circulatory illnesses about air quality issues and how to protect yourself.


If you have shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue or difficulty moving, contact your healthcare provider immediately or call 911.


If you have questions about lung health, managing asthma or allergies or for air quality issues you can call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA (586-4872) Monday through Friday 5 AM to 7 PM and weekends 9 AM to 5 PM. Staff will respond to messages left after hours the next business day.


Follow the suggested activity guidelines from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.


See if there is an Air Quality Burn Ban. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issues air quality burn bans when air pollution levels rise to unhealthy levels. Air quality burn bans occur in cold months and during wildfire incidents.


See if there is a Fire Safety Burn Ban. Fire Safety Burn Bans are issued by County Fire Marshalls when fire risk is higher because of dry, hot conditions.


Understanding Filter Ratings

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification is the gold standard for air cleaning devices. CARB only certifies air cleaners that are tested and pass electrical safety and ozone emissions tests. Check here for a list of CARB certified air filters and more information on the regulations.


DIY Box Fan Air Filter

There is an easy and cost-effective way to make a Do It Yourself filter fan to clean the air in your home. Watch the step by step video at Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.


Resources Links

Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
Washington State Department of Health
Washington State Department of Health – Smoke from Wildfires Toolkit