Pierce County air quality may be unhealthy for sensitive groups due to wildfires, officials say

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(Photo: WSDOT)

TACOMA, Wash. — Air quality in Pierce County may be unhealthy now for sensitive groups because of smoke from regional wildfires, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department said Tuesday.

“Wildfires continue to burn in Eastern Washington and wind patterns have pushed some of that air west, over the mountains,” the department said. “Current air quality in Pierce County may be unhealthy for sensitive groups (Orange).”

The sensitive groups that may be affected include:

  • Adults older than 65.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Infants and children.
  • People with heart or lung disease, such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • People with diabetes.
  • People who have had a stroke.

“Everyone’s health situation is unique. Check with your health care provider if you have concerns about air quality. Generally, sensitive groups should closely monitor air quality and limit time spent outdoors during times of poor air quality,” the health department said.

It added that schools, coaches, after-school programs, and student athletes should pay careful attention to the air quality forecast.

“The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people avoid outside exercise when the air quality is unhealthy (Red). The agency also recommends canceling youth outdoor events when the air quality is rated unhealthy (Red) or very unhealthy (Purple). This includes youth sports camps, practices, or games. Parents should talk to their children’s coaches regarding air quality concerns.”