Inferno Year

Seattle Has a New, Old Reason to Stay Home: Wildfire Smoke

Seattle's air quality was worst in the world for at least a brief period yesterday.

By Benjamin Cassidy September 9, 2020

Good thing we're quarantine experts.

After months of protecting ourselves from the new coronavirus, we now have another health hazard circulating in the air: smoke. As you might have noticed, wind blew wildfire particulates into our neck of the woods yesterday. In less than a day, more than 330,000 acres burned across the state, a staggering amount. Seattle's air quality ranked as the worst in the world at one point, according to IQAir. The Swiss-based air technology company uses the EPA's Air Quality Index calculation to track pollutant levels across the globe. At 193, ours qualified as thoroughly "Unhealthy."

Not great.

An air quality warning for the region remains in place through Thursday at 11am. You probably know the drill by now, but the basic health guidelines are to stay inside as much as possible and avoid strenuous activity outdoors. Wearing tight masks can help too. You can find more tips from Public Health—Seattle and King County here.

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