Spokane air quality in the 'very unhealthy' range; 'Tuxedo Junction' concert cancelled

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The air is so smoky and unhealthy today (Monday, Aug. 20), that Highline Public Schools moved all high school athletic practices indoor for the day. "These acute effects where the air quality gets worse from wildfire smoke for a few days-they probably do not have long-lasting effects in most of us". During this time, fine particle pollution is expected to remain at, or above, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

"Local smoke levels may vary based on wind direction and fire characteristics but, until a significant change in the provincial weather pattern occurs, widespread air quality improvements are not expected".

Air quality levels are going up more quickly than expected in the Puget Sound Region and we are reaching levels UNHEALTHY for everyone in some areas.

The air quality was so bad that everyone, regardless of physical condition or age, will likely be affected, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. This map is from Monday night; black dots are "hazardous", purple dots are "very unhealthy", and the red dots are "unhealthy".

Another Air Quality Alert has been issued.

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

The National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts for much of Washington state.

Children, elderly folks and people with respiratory illness could experience scratchy throats, itchy eyes and coughs.

Air quality advisories were in effect for portions of Washington and OR, according to the weather service. You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality on the MPCA Air Quality and Health webpage.