News Flash


Posted on: September 12, 2022

Air Quality Alert

The Washington Department of Ecology has announced an Air Quality Alert for wildfire smoke until 1:00 PM Wednesday, September 14th due to wildfire smoke from local and regional fires. Along with Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens counties this alert also extends to Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, and Whitman.

Smoke will continue to linger in the tri county area producing poor air quality throughout most of the week. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecast to fluctuate between Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (AQI 101-150) and Unhealthy (AQI 151-200) through the end of the week.

9.16.22 Forecast

Unhealthy For SG

The most effective way to protect yourself from wildfire smoke is to:

  • Limit time outdoors and reduce physical activity to match the AQI recommendations.
  • Stay in a controlled air environment.  Tightly closed buildings with filtered air reduces exposure to outdoor air pollution. Filter indoor air through an HVAC system, HEPA portable air cleaner, or DIY box fan filter (You Tube Video by Colville Tribes Air Quality Program)
  • In vehicles, operate the air condition in “recirculate” mode and keep windows closed. 

These recommendations are especially important for those more sensitive groups that are at higher risk of adverse health effects.

People who must be outside for extended periods of time in smoky air with high levels of particulate matter or in ash covered areas may benefit from using a tight fitting N95 or NIOSH-approved respirator. When worn correctly respirators can provide some protection to filter out fine particles but are not able to protect against hazardous gases in the smoke. These respirators can be found at many hardware stores, pharmacies, and upon request at any of Northeast Tri County Health District office.  

To monitor air quality conditions near you visit our website at

For schools and organizations holding outdoor activities, below are resources that can assist in making decisions about outdoor activities with air quality safety in mind:


For more information about wildfire smoke and ways to reduce exposure, please visit

Wildfire Smoke - Air Quality
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