Air quality levels trigger burn ban, change of camp schedules starting Monday

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Air quality map key: Green is good, yellow is moderate, orange is unsafe for sensitive groups, red is unhealthy and purple is very unhealthy. (Air quality map courtesy Air Now)

Air pollution is increasing due to wildfire smoke and may cause health problems.

For that reason, the City of Lynnwood has rescheduled some outdoor activities for the week of Aug. 20. According to city spokeswoman Julie Moore, Kamp Kookamunga has rescheduled its field trips for the week to be indoors. Additionally, activity levels were limited while outside and many daily activities were moved into the Lynndale Elementary School gym during the afternoon.

TACO has been cancelled for Tuesday and Wednesday’s schedule has been changed to be indoors.

As for high school sports practices that have already started for the fall 2018 season, no practices have officially been cancelled by the Edmonds School District, though coaches have the discretion to cancel practices or move them indoors if necessary, district spokeswoman Tina Marohn said.

A burn ban was also triggered starting Monday evening at 5 p.m. Details on the burn ban are below.

Air pollution levels are rising across Puget Sound region again and levels rose to “Unhealthy” levels for everyone Monday. Smoke is expected to impact air quality over the next few days. Air pollution levels will rise and fall, so we encourage you check the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency air quality map to see the latest air quality nearest you.

Wildfire smoke can cause a range of health problems:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Asthma attack
  • Coughing
  • Stinging eyes
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Fast heartbeat

Everyone should take precautions, especially children, older adults, and people that are pregnant, have heart or lung issues (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD), or that have had a stroke:

  • Stay indoors when possible.
  • Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports.
  • Close windows in your home, if possible, and keep the indoor air clean. If you have an air conditioner, use the “recirculation” switch. Use an indoor air filter if available.
  • If you do not have an air conditioner, consider finding a public place with clean, air-conditioned indoor air like a public library or a community center.
  • Avoid driving, when possible. If you must drive, keep the windows closed. If you use the car’s fan or air conditioning, make sure the system recirculates air from inside the car; don’t pull air from outside.
  • Schools and daycare providers should consider postponing outdoor activities or moving them indoors.
  • N95 or N100 rated masks can help protect some people from air pollution. These masks are usually available at hardware and home repair stores. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you. More information here.
  • For more information on ways to reduce your exposure, see the Washington Department of Health’s Smoke From Fire tips.
  • To learn more about wildfire smoke, and to subscribe to updates, visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s website.

As always, check with your health care provider for more specific questions and concerns.

FROM THE PUGET SOUND CLEAN AIR AGENCY – AIR QUALITY BURN BAN

Due to current air quality conditions, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is issuing a Stage 1 air quality burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, effective at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20.

This ban is in effect until further notice and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans.

The purpose of the burn ban is to reduce any additional harm from excess air pollution and is in addition to existing fire safety burn bans. The Clean Air Agency will continue to closely monitor the situation for purposes of air quality burn bans.

No outdoor burning during a Stage 1 air quality burn ban including:

  • No charcoal barbeques or similar solid fuel devices
  • No campfires or bonfires
  • No fire pits, chimineas, fire bowls, or similar free-standing devices
  • No fireplaces, uncertified wood stoves, or uncertified inserts*
  • No agricultural fires (as described in the agricultural burn permit)
  • Local fire districts do not grant Native American ceremonial fire permits outside of tribal lands during air quality burn bans.
  • It is OK to use natural gas and propane grills, stoves, or inserts during a Stage 1 burn ban.

*The only exception to using fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves or inserts, is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ exemption from the Clean Air Agency

Visit pscleanair.org/burnban to view the current burn ban status.

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