Wildfire Smoke Causing Poor Air Quality Across Northwest

Wildfire smoke prompts air quality statement

Much of the smoke that has blanketed the region is from wildfires in British Columbia, said National Weather Service meteorologist Art Gaebel.

To see only wildfire smoke, look just at fine particulates, listed as PM 2.5, DEQ spokeswoman Katherine Benenati said.

The agency also says people may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath, noting that children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease are especially at risk.

"We are expecting the smoke we're seeing right now in Western Washington to start to move out (Tuesday night) into (Wednesday)".

An air quality alert was issued on Tuesday for Flathead, Lincoln, and Sanders counties.

Smoky conditions have become so prevalent during wildfire season in the Northwest, there is even a blog dedicated to it. Check the air quality forecast regularly at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's website.

Thunderstorms could move into the Pacific Northwest on Friday morning, but they likely will be too far to the south of the Tri-Cities in OR to improve local air quality.

An end to the bad air days is in sight, as increasing winds for the remainder of the week should clear some of the haze from the Portland-Vancouver area. Make sure to change the air conditioner's filter regularly.

The free OregonAir app uses smiling or frowning face emojis to quickly show air quality across the state.

But air quality may diminish again on Sunday when the onshore flow will be cut off, according to Allard.

According to Environment Canada, the hazy conditions will continue throughout the week. "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the worst air quality we've had this year".

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