A map of wildfires in British Columbia. Smoke from the fires spread into Washington. COURTESY GRAPHIC, wasmoke.blogspot.com

A map of wildfires in British Columbia. Smoke from the fires spread into Washington. COURTESY GRAPHIC, wasmoke.blogspot.com

Health agencies issue air quality alert for Puget Sound region due to wildfire smoke

Another bad season for British Columbia fires

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the local health jurisdictions of King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties issued an air quality alert for Wednesday.

Air pollution is increasing due to wildfire smoke (from British Columbia, Central Washington) and may cause health problems.

Currently, the air quality has reached levels that are unhealthy for everyone in the Puget Sound region. Although we could have some clearing tonight, with so much smoke around it will likely linger through Thursday. The outlook for early next week shows smoke could return.

The B.C. Canada government declared a state of emergency Wednesday due to wildfires, according to wasmoke.blogspot.com. Approximately 566 wildfires are burning in B.C, with 29 evacuation orders affecting approximately 3,050 people. An additional 18,720 people are under evacuation alert. This is the second year in a row our neighbors to the north have been inundated with fire and smoke and some of that smoke has been heading south to Washington and beyond.

Check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website for the most recent conditions.

Health problems

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems:

• Asthma attack

• Trouble breathing

• Coughing

• Stinging eyes

• Irritated sinuses

• Headaches

• Chest pain

• Fast heartbeat

Precautions to take

Everyone should take precautions, especially children, older adults, and people that are pregnant, have heart or lung issues (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD), or that have had a stroke:

• Stay indoors when possible.

• Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports.

• Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air

conditioner, use the “recirculation” switch. Use an indoor air filter if available.

• If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, airconditioned

indoor air like a public library or a community center.

• Avoid driving when possible. If you must drive, keep the windows closed. If you use the

car’s fan or air conditioning, make sure the system recirculates air from inside the car;

don’t pull air from outside.

• Schools, camps, sports teams, and daycare providers should consider postponing outdoor

activities or moving them indoors.

• N95 or N100 rated masks can help protect some people from air pollution. These masks are

usually available at hardware and home repair stores. Please check with your doctor to see

if this appropriate for you.

More in News

Kent YMCA to offer Healthy Kids Day Saturday, April 27

Event at Morrill Meadows Park on East Hill

Puget Sound Fire call report

Type, number of incidents

MLK Labor endorses three Kent City Council candidates

Larimer, Franklin, Farah receive support

King County hires former Seattle Police Chief Diaz to oversee detention facilities

County operates jail at Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent

Crews douse an apartment units fire Sunday. No one was hurt in the fire. COURTESY PHOTO, Puget Sound RFA
Kent apartment units fire displaces families

Unattended food on stove caused fire

Governor signs Das bill to protect consumers from inflated home values

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed a bill into law that will… Continue reading

COURTESY PHOTO
Rotary Club of Kent honors Kentwood students

The Rotary Club of Kent (noon) recently recognized its Students of the… Continue reading

Prosecutors charge Kent man with first-degree murder in Sperling case

Kainth reportedly shot Sperling in pickup bed while speeding down street

City hires land-use consultant to help with Kent Industrial Valley plan

Contract for up to $150,000 over the next two years

Most Read