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Health officials suggest canceling sports, exercise in unhealthy air

PUYALLUP, Wash. – The Puget Sound region may be stuck with smoky, hazy weather for a few more days, with some possible relief coming this weekend.

But until British Columbia gets wildfires there under control, state officials worry smoky skies could return.

When the air quality turns unhealthy, officials warn people to stay indoors.

Pioneer Park in Puyallup was packed with families trying to beat the heat Tuesday, even while the area saw some of Puget Sound’s worst air quality.

“A dry throat, like I’m getting stuff back there,” said Suzee Anderson, who suffers from asthma.

The wildfires in B.C. have been pumping smoke into Washington for days. Air quality monitors across the state has been registering high levels of soot and fine particles.

“Right now it’s a dangerous thing for those children to be out there breathing in the unhealthy air,” said Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s Judy Olsen.

In some other areas of Puget Sound, air quality hit the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' category, meaning higher risk for those with asthma or other health conditions.

Western Washington’s heat wave isn’t helping either.

“When you’re overheating, that puts an extra burden on your respiratory system, cardiovascular system,” said Olsen. “We’re kind of getting a double whammy right now on our health.”

Health officials said going out to run an errand or two isn’t a big problem but they don’t want people exercising out in the smoky air.