Fire Smoke Wildart - county air

The sun is dimmed by the smoke from the numerous fire in the region that causes a haze and “very unhealthy” air quality according to in Ellensburg on Monday. During this period of poor air quality, the Kittitas County Public Health Department is helping to monitor air quality in the county schools.

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Multiple school districts are receiving indoor air monitoring via the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) as a result of recent hazardous/very unhealthy air in Kittitas County, according to a news release from the health department.

Thorp, Ellensburg, Cle Elum, and Kittitas School Districts have all received monitoring from KCPHD. Every school district is being proactive and working with KCPHD to mitigate air quality conditions within school.

Residents can take steps to protect themselves from the health effects of wildfire smoke by following the Washington State Department of Health’s recommendations below:

n Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible.

Take the following steps when indoors:   

n Keep windows and doors closed. If there is no air conditioning and it is too hot to keep windows and doors closed, consider leaving the area or spending time in an air conditioned location.

n Run an air conditioner (if you have one), set it to re-circulate and close the fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter regularly.

n Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce indoor air pollution. A HEPA filter may reduce the number of irritating fine particles in indoor air. A HEPA filter with charcoal will help remove some of the gases from the smoke.

n Do not add to indoor pollution. Do not use candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

n Some room air cleaners can help remove smoke particles indoors. California’s air cleaning devices for the home fact sheet (PDF)

n Information about keeping indoor air free of smoke: Improving Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality during Wildfire Smoke Events (PDF)


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