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Posted on: September 11, 2020

Air Quality Alert: Wildfire Smoke from Oregon forecast to move into Puget Sound Region

wildfire smoke

Air quality in the North Bend area could hit unhealthy levels throughout the weekend as a wildfire smoke plume over Oregon is forecast to make its way north as wind directions make a southerly shift.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is warning that significant wildfire smoke from Oregon is expected to begin infiltrating the Puget Sound region on Friday, September 11th, which means much of the area could reach ’unhealthy for sensitive groups’ or ’unhealthy’ levels. 

The poor air quality is forecast throughout the weekend.  The air quality alert issued by the National Weather Service expires Monday, September 14th.

Important reminder: King County’s  Stage 2 Burn Ban was also extended through the weekend. It strictly bans outdoor recreational fires (like fire pits and campfires) in order to avoid situations where sparks can occur. Those tiny sparkscombined with dry landscape and timber, can quickly start a fire.  

Residents can check North Bend air quality on the Department of Ecology’s North Bend monitoring page HERE.  

Some tips to deal with poor air quality:

  • Limit your time outdoors, especially those in sensitive groups 
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities
  • Close windows and doors
  • If you have an air conditioner, use it in recirculation mode or close the fresh air intake to keep smoky air out of your home.
  • If your air cleaner or HVAC system is designed to accommodate a high-efficiency HEPA filter, installing one and running the system during a smoke event can help keep your indoor air clean.
  • You can also make a filter fan to help clean your indoor air. All you need is a box fan, furnace filter (MERV-13 or better), and a bungee cord or tape. Step-by-step instructions here.

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