Air quality ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups range’

Kelli Ameling Kameling@ptleader.com
Posted 8/14/18

Due to the amount of wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, smoke has deteriorated into the unhealthy for sensitive groups range.In a release from Jefferson County Public Health, Stuart …

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Air quality ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups range’

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Due to the amount of wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, smoke has deteriorated into the unhealthy for sensitive groups range.

In a release from Jefferson County Public Health, Stuart Whitford, health director, said a shift in winds has brought smoke from Canada covering most of the state.

“Westerly winds should return on Wednesday and clear out any lingering smoke,” Whitford said in the release.

“Unhealthy for sensitive groups range” means it could be dangerous for people with heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, for children, adults older than 65, those who are pregnant and those who have had a stroke.

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Reedy, his team is monitoring how the smoke is impacting the temperatures. 

Reedy explained the smoke being seen within Jefferson County is acting as a cloud.

“What is happening is what we see when a model runs under a ridge of high pressure,” he said.

He explained the NWS planned to see 90-degree weather this week in the area; however, because of the smoke, the temperature will not be that hot.

“We are not receiving that solar radiation,” Reedy said.

Compared to years past during wildfire season, Reedy said Jefferson County has seen worse stretches of smoke in the area.

According to airnow.gov, the west side of Jefferson County and most of Clallam County is registered as “unhealthy,” which means “everyone may begin to experience health effects.

There are currently 12 wildfires burning in the state of Washington, with the closes being the Maple Fire burning south of Brinnon in Mason County at 1,245 acres. It is currently only 40 percent contained.

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