The air quality around Puget Sound is just as bad if not worse than some of the most polluted places on the planet.

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As of noon on Wednesday, Seattle’s air quality was worse than many populated cities in China and India. The air quality across King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties dropped to unhealthy levels as smoke from multiple wildfires blanketed the area.

Seattle’s air quality index was approximately 170 – unhealthy for everyone. In Beijing, China, the air around the U.S. Embassy was about 50 – moderate, according to the World Air Quality Index Project.

The past 24 hours had the worst air quality on record in Western Washington, according to UW’s Cliff Mass. Last summer’s wildfire season holds the record for second worst.

The air quality in Western Washington and the Cascades changed from being unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy for everyone, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Some areas are even beginning to see the “very unhealthy” air quality.

That’s the case in Chelan County, where air quality indexes were pushing 200, according to the World Air Quality Index Project.

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Things are expected to start improving Wednesday night or Thursday with onshore winds expected to increase, according to KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott. However, with wildfire season far from over, it’s likely this won’t be the last of the haze.

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