Worst air quality to hit Western Washington should improve tonight

Geneva Stokes
August 16, 2018

Several agencies in Puget Sound say air quality was at unhealthy levels for children, the elderly and other sensitive groups Tuesday. Officials said fires from British Columbia also are sending smoke our way.

"The computer models that actually forecast smoke suggest that it will slowly get better tomorrow, then probably a lot better on Friday", he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the worst air quality we've had this year".

Wednesday's air quality in Great Falls is rated "moderate" by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, meaning that unusually sensitive people should limit the length and intensity of outdoor activities.

Air quality advisories were in effect for portions of Washington and OR, according to the weather service.

Over the course of the next couple of days, air quality from the Crowsnest Pass, east to the Taber area, south to the USA border and north to the Calgary area, is expected to drastically deteriorate.

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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.

After a battery of tests, she was told she wasn't suffering from a respiratory ailment but should cut out any strenuous exercise while the sky was socked in, and that's had her cutting back on her social activities.

"This is unusual for this summer for us", said Craig Kenworthy, director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. If you use the car's fan or air conditioning, make sure the system recirculates air from inside the auto; don't pull air from outside. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.

There are now wildfires burning in 15 Western states as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.

How much of that smoke will reach the Tri-City area in the next few days is not known, according to the Forest Service.

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