The smoky air makes for colorful sunsets, such as this one over Possession Sound on Monday evening. Sue Misao/Sound Publishing

The smoky air makes for colorful sunsets, such as this one over Possession Sound on Monday evening. Sue Misao/Sound Publishing

Wildfire smoke causes poor air quality across region

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency urges people to take precautions.

  • Thursday, August 16, 2018 1:30pm
  • News

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency along with local health jurisdictions issued an air quality alert on Aug. 15, warning that air pollution is increasing due to wildfire smoke, which may cause health problems.

Currently, the air quality has reached levels that are unhealthy for everyone in the Puget Sound region, according to the alert. Smoke will likely linger through Aug. 16, and could return early next week, according to the agency.

Check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website for the most recent conditions.

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems, including asthma attack, trouble breathing, coughing, stinging eyes, irritated sinuses, headaches, chest pain and fast heartbeat.

Everyone should take precautions, especially children, older adults, and people who are pregnant, have heart or lung issues (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD), or that have had a stroke:

Stay indoors when possible.

Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports.

Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use the “recirculation” switch. Use an indoor air filter if available.

If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a public library or a community center.

Avoid driving when possible. If you must drive, keep the windows closed. If you use the car’s fan or air conditioning, make sure the system recirculates air from inside the car; don’t pull air from outside.

Schools, camps, sports teams, and daycare providers should consider postponing outdoor activities or moving them indoors.

N95 or N100 rated masks can help protect some people from air pollution. These masks are usually available at hardware and home repair stores. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you.

More in News

Malena Gaces, left, and other members of Washington CAN protest unfair move-out charges and alleged discriminatory behavior outside Kitts Corner Apartments in Federal Way in 2018. Sound Publishing file photo
King County could increase tenant protections

The council is considering ordinances designed to help renters.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
The smoky summer that wasn’t

While Washington had a mild season, wildfires burned near the Arctic.

Madison Miller/staff photo 
                                The school safety cameras pilot at John Muir, Kamiakin Middle School and Rose Hill Elementary began issuing tickets on Oct. 14.
School zone camera pilot starts ticketing drivers in Kirkland

The school zone photo enforcement camera pilot at three schools began issuing tickets Oct. 14.

Blake Peterson/staff photo
                                132nd Square Park.
Kirkland council contemplates progress on 132d Park project

The project has been under discussion since 2015.

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

Most Read