Air quality very unhealthy in Tri-Cities area

Photo: Michelle Riffe

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Air is considered very unhealthy for all people in the Tri-Cities area Monday morning.

The Department of Ecology issued an air quality alert until noon Thursday for southeastern Washington due to smoke from wildfires impacting the region over the past several weeks.

A Red Flag Warning is also in effect for Monday, meaning dry, windy weather could lead to fire spread.

Air monitors show "very unhealthy" quality in Kennewick and "hazardous" in the areas of Walla Walla and Dayton.

People are advised to:

  • Stay indoors. Do only light indoor activities. Keep windows closed if it is not too hot.
  • Run air conditioners on re-circulate. Close the outside air intake.
  • Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available.
  • Wear an N-95 respirator mask, if you must be outdoors. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

The Department said these conditions could cause health problems to even healthy people who spend time outdoors.

They say smoky air could cause burning eyes, runny nose and worsen existing heart or lung conditions.

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