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Seattle's air quality expected to improve Thursday after hitting 'unhealthy' levels

According to Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the air quality in the area was "very unhealthy" for everyone downtown and in north Seattle Wednesday afternoon.

SEATTLE — The air quality around Seattle is expected to improve Thursday after hitting unhealthy levels on Wednesday, thanks to wildfires in our state.

As of Thursday morning, most of the Seattle area's air quality was considered "moderate", according to Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

The air quality was  "very unhealthy" for everyone downtown and in north Seattle Wednesday afternoon. The agency said winds are blowing from Skykomish west to Everett and south to downtown Seattle. 

The agency recommended people stay indoors when possible.

The King County Regional Homelessness Authority opened a wildfire smoke shelter at the Compass Housing Alliance.

Some Seattle schools canceled outdoor activities. Shoreline Public Schools brought all outdoor activities inside, including recess and PE.

The air quality was listed as "good" to "moderate" Tuesday afternoon before worsening overnight. The air quality stayed at "unhealthy" Wednesday morning, before worsening in the afternoon. 

Dan Jaffee, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, said north Puget Sound areas saw some of the worst smoke. 

"We're getting almost a direct plume of smoke that's coming down the mountains on easterly winds, down the valley, and it's really hitting some areas quite hard," he said. 

On Tuesday, Nyx Smith, who works at Pike Place Bar & Grill, described it as something you can "almost feel" as you breathe.

"It's definitely that burning wood smell,” said Smith. “Like if it was a campfire in front of you might not hate it, but since it's coming in and taking over everything it's just overwhelming."

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Even though some were feeling the effects of the smoke others were embracing this new tune in the air. 

"I've been outside for about two-and-half hours today, just busking," said Vince Bigos, who was playing guitar near Pike Place Market.  

People who have pets with respiratory conditions like asthma, or even heart disease, should keep their pets indoors when the air quality is unhealthy.

If animals start to show signs like coughing or gagging, those are signs to bring your pet into the vet's office.

WATCH: How to take care of pets in unhealthy air quality

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