Luke Montrose, an assistant professor in the School of Public Service’s community and environmental health department, recently was quoted in the Idaho Statesman article, “Research shows air pollution – like Idaho’s wildfire smoke – can make COVID-19 worse (paywall).”
“I would normally be hesitant to conflate occupational exposure [of wildland firefighters] with the general public’s exposure,” Montrose said in the interview. “However, I was thinking about this early this year. When I first started hearing about COVID, this popped into my mind, the clash of two natural disasters: ‘We could have wildfires at the same time we’re having a global pandemic.’”
“We have a very unique problem that we’re going to be dealing with (in the West) that’s not much of a problem in the rest of the country,” he added.