Everyone advised to limit outdoor activity

Aug. 14, 2012 – Smoke from the Taylor Bridge Forest Fire in between Ellensburg and Cle Elum has caused “very unhealthy” air quality conditions as of the morning of August 14, 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology air quality monitoring site in Ellensburg.  The range of air quality categories include good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and hazardous.  Air quality is expected to be in the unhealthy range at least throughout the week.

During these conditions, everyone should try to limit their outdoor activity, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants.  It is especially important for certain populations to remain indoors with windows and doors closed:

  • People with pre-existing lung or heart conditions such as asthma or emphysema, diabetes, or other respiratory infections;
  • People who have had a stroke;
  • Infants, children, and adults older than 65; and
  • Pregnant women.

Air conditioning units should be set on “recycle” or “recirculate” mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air.  People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality such as a friend’s house, relative’s house, or a public space.

Members of the general population may also begin to feel adverse effects from poor air quality and should consider following these same precautions.  Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea.  Please contact your health care provider if you experience any of these symptoms.

Current air quality monitoring can be seen on the Washington State Department of Ecology air monitoring site: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/

Information about health effects from wild fire smoke can be found on the Washington State Department of Health site: https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx