Face masks being used by some braving unhealthy smoky conditions

KENT, Wash – Health experts are warning everyone to limit activity outdoors while the smoke hangs in the air, but barely anyone can put on hold what they have to get done.

That includes Chelsea Jensen and her five kids, who had business in Kent Tuesday morning.

“We we’re just hanging out at the library. We were going to come to the park and our plan was to go to Kent Station and maybe go shopping,” she said, “Now I don’t know what we’re going to do.”

So far, she and her kids say the smoke hasn’t been bothering them but health officials say it already has.

“We were watching the news at the train about how it’s unhealthy to come out,” she said, “The kids haven't said anything or noticed enough.”

“So the smoke is absolutely horrible,” Violet Left said in downtown Seattle. “It’s getting underneath my contacts, making it difficult to see.”

Soon the Jensens will likely be feeling the weather’s impact like Violet Left and her little girl – scratchy throat, watery eyes – all thanks to fine particulates in the air.

But mom has a plan.

“We’re just keeping it to a minimum for being outside and being in the smoke,” said Left. “I try not concern her too much because I don’t want her scared about where we live.”

Even those commuting in Seattle are feeling the effects -- people wearing face masks were easy to spot.

“I can actually smell the food trucks still walking by them, but I can’t smell the smoke,” said Nathan Saritzky.

Saritzky says his doctor girlfriend scored a few free masks. He says they came just in time to make a difference.

“Makes my throat feel a bit scratchy, feels a little harder to breathe,” he said. “I like to run a lot and I don’t want to mess up my lungs.”