Unhealthy air quality continues as southerly winds bring more smoke

Unhealthy air quality in western Washington lingers for another day. The City of Seattle announced it is extending the weekend closure of parks and beaches through Monday night due to poor air quality.

Forecasters say the clearing that was expected Monday morning did not happen, and now, light southerly winds are bringing even more smoke from Oregon through Tuesday. 

A map from the State Department of Ecology shows dark red spots across the state indicating "very unhealthy" air quality levels. Public Health—Seattle King County stated the ongoing smoky conditions are especially dangerous for those with vulnerable respiratory systems.

The closure applies to all Seattle parks, beaches, athletics fields, boat ramps, golf courses and specialty gardens. Officials are not issuing citations, but they are urging people to stay indoors until the air quality improves.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said wildfire smoke could start to clear up later in the week. In the meantime, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department is encouraging people not to pollute their indoor clean air. Health officials advised people to avoid candles, incense, fireplaces and frying food. They also suggested not vacuuming as that could stir up dust and smoke particles.

Olympia Waldorf School announced Monday morning it will be closed due to poor air quality.

In the South Sound, several facilities will open back up Monday after closing for the weekend out of caution for employees and patrons. Metro Parks Tacoma said it made the decision to reopen after officials took a closer look at air quality forecast models. A list of places open for business include:

•            Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

•            Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

•            W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

•            Point Defiance Marina (limited access to boathouse tenants only)

•            Meadow Park Golf Course

•            Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

•            Park Restrooms