Community Helping with Wildfire Smoke

While much of the west coast was burning and surrounding areas were literally choked with wildfire smoke this summer, communities in the Puget Sound region were preparing to offer aid to their residents. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's (the Agency) community engagement teams worked with community partners in our four focus communities (Chinatown-International District in Seattle, the Duwamish Valley in Seattle, Lakewood in Tacoma, and Auburn-Algona-Pacific) to provide filter-fans to residents. 

These do-it-yourself "filter-fans" provide an easy and more affordable way to clean the air inside of your home. The “filter fans” can filter out PM2.5, the small particles that are common in wildfire or wood smoke. Particle pollution can lead to a number of immediate and long-term health impacts such as trouble breathing, asthma attacks, and lung and heart disease. Particle pollution is especially dangerous for children, the elderly, and people with sensitive immune systems. 

By using a regular box fan, a furnace filter, and a few more supplies, people can dramatically clean the air inside of their homes. Some off the shelf air filter units cost up to $1000 making these DIY filter fans are much more accessible. So we jumped at the chance to provide filter-fans to our four focus communities. We worked closely with community partners in each focus community to provide information about air pollution, steps on how to put the filter-fans together, and educational materials about the filter-fans. 

This video from the City of Auburn shows Adam Petrusky, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Air Monitoring Specialist, delivery filter-fan units to our community partners in the Auburn-Algona-Pacific focus community. 

AuburnFilterFanVideo Opens in new window

The community engagement teams at the Agency are grateful for our community partners for being able to help get these critical resources to community residents. 

You can see steps on how to build your own filter-fan and more information on safety and performance here. 

By Joanna Gangi, Equity + Community Engagement Communications Specialist, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency