LONG BEACH — Air quality alerts have been issued throughout Western Washington, including Pacific County.
Air pollution, which may cause health issues, is due to wildfire smoke coming from British Columbia, Oregon, the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades.
Regional air quality is expected to improve by the afternoon on Thursday, Aug. 16, according to the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency. Conditions along the Pacific Coast were better Wednesday than they were Tuesday, when air was rated “Unhealthy.” Wednesday’s air-quality assessment near the ocean in Pacific County is “Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups.”
Sensitive groups — such as children, older adults, pregnant individuals and those with health issues — should take precautions. If possible, stay indoors, limit outdoor physical activity, keep windows closed and avoid driving.
Health problems caused by wildfire smoke can range from asthma attacks to stinging eyes. Other issues can include chest pain, a fast heartbeat, coughing, trouble breathing, irritated sinuses and headaches.
The state operates one air-quality monitoring site in Pacific County, located in South Bend. At about noon Wednesday, the “Washington Air Quality Advisory” value there was 114, compared to more than 190 on Tuesday. The WAQA includes measurements of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particle pollution and fine inhalable particles, and sulfur dioxide.
Alerts have also been issued for Thurston, Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor and Mason counties.
Air quality throughout the country can be viewed at www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_state&stateid=49.