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Posted on: September 8, 2022

Worsening Air Quality

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for all counties east of the Cascade crest. A Red Flag Warning means critical fire weather conditions are occurring with a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures which can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Considerable smoke is expected to continue through the weekend from the North Cascades (WA) and Wallowa Mountains (OR) as well as some smoke effects from fires nearby that are still being seen in Pend Oreille County. Smoke forecasts from the Washington Smoke Blog map show worsening air quality as the weekend progresses.

9.8.22 Forecast

To help plan outdoor activities with air quality safety in mind, nearly 30 air quality sensors were installed across Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens Counties in summer 2021. Data from these sensors are available at https://netchd.org/208/Wildfire-Smoke-Air-Quality and can help community members and organizations alike make decisions about outdoor activity levels.

Utilizing the six categories that correspond with the air quality index levels, individuals can determine what level of outdoor activity is safe for them and what steps they can take to reduce their exposure.

 AQI Legend

Wildfire smoke affects everyone, though some people may be more sensitive to the effects than others such as:

  • People with health conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, or other heart and lung diseases, or people who have had a stroke
  • Children under 18
  • Adults over 65
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who smoke
  • People with other respiratory illnesses

Even if you do not identify with one of these groups, it remains important to monitor air quality levels and watch for symptoms from exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Burning eyes
  • Coughing
  • Throat and nose irritation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain

For more information about wildfire smoke and ways to reduce exposure, please visit www.netchd.org.

Wildfire Smoke - Air Quality
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