High temperatures and smoke creating a dangerous combination for the valley
YAKIMA, Wash.- “When it's too bad, we just stay with the shade,” Bruner Painting Inc. Shop manager Stanley Owen said. “Chase the shade around the house.”
Chasing the shade. That's what people all over the valley are doing with projected highs of 106 degrees Thursday.
Owen said the heat not only makes it uncomfortable for them to work in, but it could cause some problems on the job.
A job that should take around three days to get done, could take much longer as the paint reacts to the higher temps.
“If it says it's a 110 degrees outside, that surface temperature is about 150-160. So as soon as the paint touches it, it's wanting to dry that quick or start bubbling or basically boiling,” he said.
While Owen and his crew have to deal with the heat, everyone has to deal with all the smoke covering the valley at the same time.
Nearby fires like the Miriam fire in White Pass and other fires across the west coast have made the air unhealthy to breath in for too long.
Victoria Larios with the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic said you should stay inside as much as possible.
“Heat and smoke is not a good combination. Just because by themselves they can cause problems,” she said.
Some of those problems include feelings of weakness and even falling unconscious.
Larios said paying attention to your bodies symptoms could keep you from getting sick or having to go to the hospital.
“Know your symptoms. If you are struggling breathing. Shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, coughing, tickling of the throat,” Larios said. “Just some of those things that could affect you.”
She said the longer you expose yourself to the smoke, the worse your symptoms are going to get.
While the employees of Bruner Painting Inc. have to bear the smoke and heat on a daily basis for work, they don't recommend you to do it if you have the option.
“Drink water. Lots of fluid. If you don't have to be out in this stuff. Don't be out in this stuff,” Owen said.
If you have to be outside, Larios said you should wear a mask like the n-95 respirator mask instead of a paper mask.
Having a paper one over your mouth isn't going to help filter out any of the smoke. It's just going to make it harder for you to breath.