Air quality advisory in place due to wildfire smoke

Hazy Skies

The air quality level is expected to reach into unhealthy for sensitive groups.

More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland today as almost 600 wildfires continue to rage across British Columbia.

"If we were near fires, the surface winds and the lower level winds would mean a lot more to us, but right now we are just looking at smoke coming in from further away", said Missoula City-County Health Department Air Quality Specialist Sarah Coefield.

The smoke that is blanketing Washington, Oregon and California is smoke coming from the wildfires burning in British Columbia, according to the National Weather Service Seattle.

With winds pushing smoke from British Columbia and the fires in the Cascades in our direction, we expect poor air quality to continue through Wednesday. "It's substantial. Air quality definitely has an impact on public health".

During "very unhealthy" conditions, everyone is encouraged to stay indoors, avoid strenuous activity, close windows and doors, set air conditioners to recirculate, and use a HEPA air filter if possible.

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An Air Quality Alert is in effect for Western Washington until 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

It's the second time in a week smoke from wildfires has pushed the state's air quality into risky level.

As of late Monday morning, northeast and northwest sections of Metro Vancouver reported an AQHI past the upper threshold of 10, indicating a very high health risk.

Air quality is expected to get worse as smoke builds up with visibility being affected.

Last week's air quality was the worst on record for Puget Sound.

Benenati said along with the app, there are additional resources on DEQ's website if you're looking for more information. Smoke could worsen into unhealthy levels by Monday, the agency said. Those who must go outdoors are recommended to wear a N-95 rated respirator mask.

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