• Air quality to improve Saturday

    Residents urged to take precautions, burn ban in place

    Sept. 18 Update

    While the air cleared a bit Friday, it remained unhealthy or close to it. The latest forecasts, Friday afternoon, called for air quality in Bellevue to improve to "moderate" Saturday and then to "good" by Sunday. Residents should stay indoors as much as possible while the air quality remains unhealthy from wildfire smoke. 

    Sept. 17 Update

    With smoke still drifting into the region, air quality was unhealthy in Bellevue Thursday morning. The forecast calls for it to improve significantly Friday, from 174 on the air quality index to 64, which is considered "moderate."

    According to the state Department of Ecology smoke blog, it's expected to return to "good" on Saturday and stay that way, when rain in Oregon is predicted to help douse the large forest fires in Oregon sending smoke our way.

    To protect your health, please:

    • Stay indoors as much as possible.
    • Limit intense outdoor activity.
    • Close windows and doors as much as possible.
    • Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter if possible.
    • Use fans or an air conditioner when it's hot, if possible. Set your AC to recirculate.
    • To keep your indoor air clean, avoid frying and broiling.

    Sept. 14 Update

    Winds expected to push the smoke out of the area Sunday failed to materialize, so Bellevue's air quality remains "unhealthy" or "very unhealthy," and is expected to stay that way through at least Wednesday, according to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

    Residents are advised to keep following the suggestions in the bulleted list posted below for Friday, Sept. 11. Precautions from Public Health -- Seattle & King county are also accessible in 繁體中文, 한국어, Русский, Español and Tiếng Việt.

    An emergency smoke shelter has been established in Seattle at 1045 Sixth Ave. S. The shelter has capacity to shelter approximately 100 people and is operating 24 hours each day. The shelter will remain open through 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15, when air quality is forecasted to improve. The smoke shelter is operating in coordination and partnership with the Seattle Human Services Department, King County Department of Community and Human Services, Public Health – Seattle & King County, Public Health Reserve Corps and Salvation Army.

    According to the state Department of Ecology smoke blog, light southerly winds will continue for another day at least, dragging even more smoke from Oregon fires northward along the Interstate 5 corridor.

    Sept. 11 Update

    Wildfire smoke continues to make air quality “very unhealthy” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” The Department of Ecology issued a statewide air quality alert yesterday, which continues through the weekend.

    Please take steps to protect your health:

    • Stay indoors as much as possible.
    • Limit intense outdoor activity.
    • Close windows and doors as much as possible.
    • Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter if possible.
    • Use fans or an air conditioner (AC) when it's hot, if possible. Set your AC to recirculate.
    • A DIY air cleaner may be an easy and cost-effective way to clean air inside your home. Information on how to construct a portable air cleaner and important safety tips to follow while using one of these fans can be found at Puget Sound Clean Air Agency's DIY Air Filter website.
    • Don't pollute the indoor air. Don't smoke, use candles, or vacuum. Avoid frying and broiling when cooking indoors.

    For more information visit: 

    Original Sept. 8 Post 

    Fires east of the Cascades and easterly winds brought smoke into parts of King County overnight. The National Weather Service and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency say we can expect the smoke to linger through the middle of the week. 

    Residents can view air quality in the area and suggested precautions using information available through Puget Sound Clear Air Agency. Currently, sensitive groups, children and healthy adults are all urged to stay indoors until conditions improve. 

    There is also a recreational burn ban in place due to the dry weather conditions and high fire risk. All recreational fires, including any outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal, are banned in King County until further notice. There is also a statewide ban on recreational fires throughout all forestland protected by the Washington Department of Natural Resources until Sept. 30 or the risk of fire lessens. Outdoor heaters and barbecue grills are still allowed. More information is available from the Department of Ecology.

    For more information and guidance about preparing for fires, visit the county’s wildfire smoke web page and follow the City of Bellevue on Twitter @bellevuewa.

    Published on 09/18/2020