Unhealthy-Very Unhealthy local air quality; some WA locations ‘hazardous’

air quality Aqi
AirNow.gov - 9 a.m. Monday

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Bad air will hang around for most of the week but most of the greater Tri-Cites and Yakima areas will see some improvement later on Monday.

As of 9 a.m., AirNow.gov, featuring the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI), has the Tri-Cities and most of the Yakima and Walla Walla valleys in the ‘Unhealthy’ range.

Wildfire smoke is the culprit. Places farther north such as Okanogan County, site of the Cedar Creek and Cub Creek 2 fires, have some of the most ‘Hazardous’ conditions in the country. Locations including Twisp, Winthrop, and Omak have it the worst.

FIRE AND SMOKE MAP: Current air quality where you live

Sensors near Othello, Moses Lake, Quincy, Dayton, and Pomeroy (near the Green Ridge and Lick Creek fires) are reporting ‘Very Unhealthy’ air. The Tri-Cities, Spokane, Leavenworth, and Mesa have ‘Unhealthy’ air, although one sensor near W. Metaline Ave. in Kennewick showed the air to be ‘Very Unhealthy.’

AIR QUALITY FORECASTS: Look ahead to Tuesday-Friday

The air quality forecast for Monday shows clearing for the Yakima Valley, ‘Moderate’ air quality for the Tri-Cities, ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ for Grant County, and ‘Unhealthy’ for Spokane.

air quality legend

AirNow is a partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Park Service (NPS), NASA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and tribal, state, and local air quality agencies. Here is AirNow’s advice for local residents:

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teens – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

    • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities
    • Keep outdoor activities short
    • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them

Everyone else – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

    • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard
    • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors
    • Be active outdoors when air quality is better

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