Wildfire smoke anticipated to impact coastal and metro communities

Forest Service advisors are warning that the air quality in coastal and metro communities is anticipated to worsen by Thursday due to several fires burning across the Pacific Northwest. 

"With this marathon of a fire year we’re facing, it’s time for pacific northwest communities to get smoke ready for the days and weeks ahead," said Regional Director of Fire Fuels and Aviation Management for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, Alex Robertson.

Air quality in the Puget Sound and Portland region is expected to diminish to a moderate level while the Cascade Crest area may experience air quality that is "unhealthy for sensitive groups" and could worsen over the weekend. 

Officials warn that that under these smoke conditions, healthy individuals can also be affected by poor air quality. Symptoms may include irritation in the eye, nose or throat, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or headaches.

The Forest Service suggests the following precautions to help individuals in the affected areas protect themselves:

  • Stay indoors whenever possible with the doors and windows closed. Use fans indoors set to recirculate if you have an air conditioner. Air filters or purifiers can also help. Your community may also have ‘clean air’ shelters in place at public facilities.
  • If you are outside, consider wearing a mask marked N95 or KN95.
  • Children, elderly, pregnant or nursing women, and people with asthma or heart conditions are at greater risk.

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RELATED: Air quality deteriorates in much of eastern Washington


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