King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

Keep those windows closed today, weather officials say, as smoke from Eastern Washington wildfires blows into the Puget Sound region.

The network’s Bellevue monitoring site shows air quality remained at unhealthy levels. Puget Sound Clean Air Agency states outdoor activities are discouraged for both sensitive groups and unhealthy adults in all of King County.

Air quality on Sept. 8 over much of King County was unhealthy, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology Air Monitoring Network. Winds that brought the haze and ash over from east of the Cascades are expected to remain into the middle of the week, according to Seattle National Weather Service.

On Monday evening, residents reported seeing ash in the Redmond and North Bend areas as well.

Winds are making it difficult to predict just when skies will clear up. Irregular winds also mean air quality will range from good to unhealthy over the span of just several hours. There have also been several fires in South Puget Sound areas as Western Washington has enacted a burn ban because dry weather conditions. Any outdoor fire is banned in King County until further notice.

In the meantime, residents can take the following precautions while smoke is in the air:

  • Check the air quality forecast at Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
  • Stay indoors as much as possible when air is unhealthy
  • Limit physical activities outdoors
  • Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors, using an air purifier or DIY air cleaner, and avoiding indoor air pollution from smoking, vacuuming or candles.
  • Contact a health care provider if health conditions worsen

For more tips on staying safe during unhealthy air conditions, during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit here.


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