People in Kittitas County are advised to limit outdoor activity due to poor air quality caused by the Taylor Bridge Fire.

The state Department of Ecology's air quality monitoring site in Ellensburg says smoke from the fire between Ellensburg and Cle Elum has caused "very unhealthy" air quality conditions — the second worse level.

Air quality categories are good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy and hazardous. Air quality is expected to be in the unhealthy range at least throughout the week.

During these conditions, everyone should try to limit their outdoor activity, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants, according to a news release from the Kittitas County Public Health Department.

Certain populations should remain indoors with windows and doors closed:

  • People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions such as asthma or emphysema, diabetes, or other respiratory infections;
  • People who have had a stroke;
  • Infants, children, and adults older than 65; and
  • Pregnant women.

Air conditioning units should be set on "recycle" or "recirculate" mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air, the news release said. People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality such as a friend's house, relative's house or a public space.

Adverse symptoms from poor air quality may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm and nausea. Contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms.

Current air quality monitoring can be seen on the Washington State Department of Ecology air monitoring site.


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