Smoky skies in Puget Sound area
Smoke from numerous wildfires burning across the state moved into Western Washington over the weekend, causing unhealthy conditions.
The National Weather Service issued a special weather statement, saying the easterly winds would continue to blow smoke toward the west through Sunday afternoon.
Several air monitoring sites reported unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups.
The conditions were worst in the valleys of the North Cascades and south of Centralia.
Winds will shift to the west on Sunday afternoon and produce improving conditions across the Seattle metro area and Western Washington, the National Weather Service said.
"That's going to help bring in some fresher air from the Pacific Ocean," Ted Buehner of the NWS said.
Air quality throughout the state was listed as "unhealthy" on Sunday afternoon.
The National Weather Service issued Air Quality Alerts for much of Eastern Washington through noon on Monday. Expect valleys to have higher smoke levels in the evening through early morning hours.
Precautions to be taken for areas experiencing increased smoke and reduced air quality include:
- Everyone should avoid heavy work or exercise outdoors when the air quality index reaches unhealthy levels.
- Older adults, small children, and those with respiratory conditions or heart disease may be more sensitive to poor air quality and should stay indoors and avoid heavy work when air quality reaches unhealthy levels.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps dilute phlegm in the respiratory tract, making it easier to cough out smoke particles. Plan on coughing; it is nature`s way of clearing your lungs. Avoid caffeine products, sugary drinks and alcohol because they have a dehydrating effect.
- Stay cool if the weather is warm. Run your air conditioner to recirculate air. Turn the fan blower on manually so it continuously filters the air in your home.
At Seattle"s Kerry Park, Sharon Brown said the smoke was irritating her asthma.
"As I walk, I could feel it," she said, motioning to her lungs.
"It's still a beautiful view," Brown said through the haze.
"It smells like Christmas," said Darya Assadi, mentioning she smelled the smoky oak scent as soon as she left her Queen Anne Hill apartment.
"I think it's a little too soon for Christmas, maybe we could hold off on that," she laughed.
"This is just a little taste of it," said Logan Johnson of the National Weather Service. "I think it's enough to remind us how serious the wildfires really are."