Smog, smoke prompt Spare the Air alert for Sunday

Smog, smoke prompt Spare the Air alert for Sunday

Smog, smoke prompt Spare the Air alert for Sunday

Air quality in Spokane has tipped into the "very unhealthy" range, and regional air quality monitors caution anyone, regardless of health, from exerting themselves out of doors. Until then, air quality levels can be expected to oscillate between unhealthy and moderate.

For a time the smoke filled air lowered visibility to the point that the Washington State Patrol shut down several miles of westbound Highway 18 in the area. Conditions will begin to improve overnight from north to south as the smoke plume begins to exit the region.

Authorities have issued a burn ban for counties including King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish because of wildfire smoke and related unhealthy air conditions.

This Air Quality Alert will be updated again on Monday morning.

Take precautions: Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy.

Health officials are advising people to reduce or completely avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

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Measured at 5 a.m.at a monitoring site on 12th Avenue, air here registered at 331 on the Washington Air Quality Advisory, or WAQA, index, according to the state's Department of Ecology.

Ash and smoke from the flames have impacted the air quality in many communities, including Seattle, for two weeks.

"I went biking yesterday, and I really felt it in my lungs, and I was really headachy and like, lethargic", Simon said Monday.

The Clean Air Agency is urging everyone to stay indoors as much as possible and keep windows closed.

Children, the elderly, and those with respiratory illnesses are at most risk of serious health effects. In fact, Seattle's air quality this week has been worse than that of Beijing, which has one of the world's most notoriously polluted atmospheres.

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