November 30, 2022

Wildfire Smoke Alert: Unhealthy Air Quality

Wildfire smoke will cause the air quality to rise to UNHEALTHY for everyone levels near…

Wildfire smoke will cause the air quality to rise to UNHEALTHY for everyone levels near active fires, including the new fire in east King County. At this time, other areas in the Puget Sound region are expected to be UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS or worse. Take steps to reduce your exposure to smoke.

Wildfire smoke impacts are expected to continue until late this week.

Check out sensor map for the latest air quality in your area at pscleanair.gov/SensorMap

We are monitoring the situation and will provide updates as conditions develop on our website at pscleanair.gov.

Wildfire smoke can cause and worsen many health problems such as:

  • Asthma attack
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Stinging eyes
  • Trouble breathing

Wildfire smoke can affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and increase health risks, especially for sensitive populations.

Current air quality conditions are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS to UNHEALTHY for everyone. Everyone should take precautions:

  • Stay at home when possible. If you can’t stay cool at home or are especially sensitive to smoke, it may be best to seek shelter elsewhere.
  • Limit your activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, sports, or hobbies.
  • If possible, close windows in your home to keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use it in recirculation mode.
    • Make sure your home ventilation system is maintained following manufacturer recommendations (like replacing filters regularly). Don’t contribute to indoor air pollution such as burning candles or vacuuming. Use a portable air cleaner if available.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a mall, public library, or community center. Call ahead to make sure they have air conditioning.
  • Heat can be dangerous too. If it becomes unbearably hot, it’s better to open the windows for a short period of time.
  • Schools, camps, sports teams, and daycare providers should consider postponing outdoor activities or moving them indoors. More information here.
  • Masks with the label “N95” or “N100” are the most effective type of mask that protects you from air pollution. Any mask or face covering should be used only as a last resort to protect against wildfire smoke. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you. More information here.
    • Other face coverings, such as surgical or cloth masks, are not recommended because they offer limited protection from air pollution and wildfire smoke
  • People respond to smoke in different ways and at different levels. Pay attention to symptoms that you or those you are caring for are experiencing and take the above steps to reduce exposures at lower smoke levels if needed.
  • Check with your health care provider for more specific health questions and concerns. As always, seek medical attention if symptoms are serious.

Learn more at www.pscleanair.gov/wildfires. You can also check the air quality forecast regularly on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency home page or by checking the air pollution monitor closest to you.