3. How the Pacific Northwest is combatting heat and smoke

Heat-related deaths in Washington, 2010–2022
Data: Washington State Department of Health; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

A 2021 heat wave that killed at least 157 people in Washington state drove home why even regions accustomed to fresh air and moderate temperatures need to calibrate their public health efforts to confront extreme climate events.

Why it matters: The dual threats of extreme heat and smoke from wildfires can be fatal in places where many households lack air conditioning, or they could worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

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