LONG BEACH — A thick, somewhat moist blanket of dirty air hangs over Pacific County and the rest of Washington's outer coast Friday morning as an onshore flow brings days of wildfire smoke hulking back over land.
At 7 a.m. the air quality index was 275 at the official monitoring station for Pacific County, more than 10 times more than normal and well into the "very unhealthy" range as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Just north in Grays Harbor County the AQI is 318 and it is 332 at the Quinault Indian Reservation. Air is considered hazardous at 301 AQI or more.
An air quality alert remains in effect until noon Monday, issued by the Southwest Clean Air Agency and other agencies for all of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, including the coast.
"Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy to hazardous levels at times through Monday," according to an advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Portland.
Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it's smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.
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