Seattle, Tacoma air quality officially the worst on record

Charlene Craig
August 16, 2018

Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean.

"The computer models that actually forecast smoke suggest that it will slowly get better tomorrow, then probably a lot better on Friday", he said.

The DEQ rates air quality based on the amount of particulate matter (PM) in the air, which is often caused by smoke from wildfires. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency told KIRO Radio last summer that poor summer air conditions were similar to poor winter conditions.

This is the second year in a row that fires burning in British Columbia, Canada, have inundated the Tri-Cities with smoke, according to the Forest Service, posting on the Washington Smoke Information blog.

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As wildfire smoke blankets the province, the air we're breathing is more unsafe to your health than in Beijing, China.

Those recommendations are especially important for sensitive groups, Wineke noted.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged exertion.

Others have downloaded a new companion mobile app that quickly shows whether the air you're breathing is safe.

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In Oregon, fires in the southern part of the state and in Washington are also causing smoky, hazy conditions. Mount Rainier, which usually dominates much of Washington's horizon, was scarcely even visible from inside the national park Tuesday, said Kevin Bacher, the park's volunteer program manager. Meanwhile, lightning strikes over the weekend sparked dozens more fires throughout the state.

An end to the bad air days is in sight, as increasing winds for the remainder of the week should clear some of the haze from the Portland-Vancouver area.

"The wildfire season is definitely not done", Wineke said.

The National Weather Service extended its air quality alert for most of Eastern Washington and north central OR by 48 hours on Wednesday morning.

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