Satellite view of wildfire smoke over the Pacific Northwest, 6 September 2017. Photo: NASA / Worldview

By Steven Hsieh
6 September 2017

(The Stranger) – Microscopic particles floating from a haze of wildfire smoke accumulated in Seattle overnight, downgrading the city's air quality to levels that are unhealthy for everyone outside.

At the "unhealthy level," everyone may begin to experience health effects and should avoid exercising outdoors. The air could be especially harmful to sensitive groups, including children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.

Unhealthy air quality in the Pacific Northwest caused by smoke from wildfires, 6 September 2017. Graphic: PNW smoke cooperators / Washington Smoke Information

For most of yesterday, when haze blanketed the sun and ash fell from the sky, Seattle's air quality ranged from "moderate" to "unhealthy for sensitive groups." As Ana Sofia reported, that's because smoke particles small enough for humans to breathe take some time to drift to our level. Ash flakes may irritate eyes and skin, but aren't small enough for inhalation, according to Washington State scientists. [more]

Air Quality in Smoky Seattle Downgraded to "Unhealthy"


  1. Dennis Mitchell said...

    First time in my life where I felt bad air. Breathing is a little hard. Throat sore. I'm in southern idaho. I was looking at the sun last night. For just a second I thought it was the full moon. Fires out west, worst rainfall in the US ever, followed by the strongest hurricane ever, three of the hottest decades in a row. Crap, I'm glad this global warming shit is just a liberal ploy. A fellow could get worried.  


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