Wildfire smoke brings regional health warning — QUALITY ALERT

16 August, 2018, 12:04 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Beware the air out there, New West

Lingering wildfire smoke in Western Washington triggered an air quality alert Tuesday, but relief may be close at hand as westerly winds are forecasted to clear the skies again soon. Air circulation patterns are bringing in smoke from wildfires in California and OR to the south, Canadian wildfires to the north, and the Maple Fire on the Olympic Peninsula to the west. Smoke from British Columbia and fires in the Cascades continues to build in the Puget Sound region Monday.

The smoke from the fires waft into the air and are then taken to wherever the wind blows.

Officials warned older residents and young children or people with heart or lung disease to "avoid prolonged or heavy exertion". The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency told KIRO Radio last summer that poor summer air conditions were similar to poor winter conditions.

Air quality remains unhealthy throughout Washington state (aside from some coastal communities).

Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports. "If you can be indoors where you get some filtered air, that's what you want to do".

Environment Canada advises staying inside if you have difficulty breathing and to find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated.


But, he said, "It's a good way of impressing upon people how air pollution affects us".

Air conditions should be set to recirculate and windows should be closed. So if you're considering a mask, check with your doctor before you try it out.

For more information on ways to reduce your exposure, see the Washington Department of Health's Smoke From Fire tips.

Global News meteorologist Kristi Gordon said there is no change in the weather pattern yet, and the thick smoke will be sticking around for a while. Check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's website for the most recent conditions.

Check with your health care provider for more specific questions and concerns.

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