Health officials are urging residents near fire areas to wear an approved smoke mask, stay inside or get out of town as the Wenatchee Valley heads into another week of a weather inversion that’s likely to trap toxic smoke hazardous for breathing.
Schools closed, events were canceled and nearly everyone suffered coughing fits and burning eyes Thursday and Friday when air quality was seriously degraded by smoke from several fires.
The National Weather Service has issued a stagnant weather advisory for the Wenatchee Valley, Cashmere, Entiat, Chelan, Quincy, Ephrata and the Waterville Plateau that will last through next week. Inversion conditions will lead to hazardous air quality that can lead to aggravated respiratory problems, illness and even death for sensitive people.
Health officials are advising people to keep windows closed, limit their time outdoors, and if possible, go to an area that is not affected by wildfire smoke. If you must go outside, wear an N-95 or p-100 mask, normally available at agriculture supply and paint stores. Regular dust masks do not filter out enough of the dangerous micro-particles.
The Wenatchee World is interested in what you plan to do to prepare for toxic air during the upcoming work or school week. Send us an e-mail at email@example.com and let us know.
— Rick Steigmeyer, World staff