BOISE, Idaho -- Following Governor Dirk Kempthorne's visit with medical and public officials in the cities of Salmon and Challis, the Governor and State Bureau of Disaster Services (BDS) are appealing to businesses and manufacturers to donate new, in-the-box air cleaners capable of cleaning a room up to 8x10 feet to help seniors and children who are severely affected by smoke as a result of wildfires throughout the state.
"We have taken the first step and have delivered 25 air purifiers to the elderly, hospitals and communities of Salmon and Challis," Governor Kempthorne said. "But the need is great, and I encourage businesses from all over Idaho to pitch in at this critical time. The efforts are greatly appreciated by those who are having difficulty breathing because of the thick smoke caused by wildfires."
"Communities affected by the fires are also affected by the 50,000 tons of pollutants that the fires collectively have put into the air that people must breathe," said John Cline, BDS Director.
Taking Governor Kempthorne's message to businesses and manufacturers, Cline said, "hospitals, schools, libraries and other public facilities could designate a 'clean room' for people to breathe easier while they are out in the community."
He added, "There are people with respiratory illnesses that need air cleaners to help them breathe at home. Rural Idahoans generally do not have air conditioning. They have opened their houses for ventilation, only to find that they cannot breathe. This is just one of the side effects that we will have to deal with as a result of the fires."
Businesses and manufacturers who would like to donate air cleaners or fans can contact the Idaho Bureau of Disaster Services at (208) 334-3460.