• Excessive heat, wildfire smoke in Bellevue

    Published August 9 2021

    For the second time this summer, the National Weather Service in Seattle has issued an excessive heat watch for western Washington. The heat watch is in effect Wednesday, Aug. 11, to 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14, with temperatures between 94 and 98 degrees forecast for Bellevue Thursday and Friday.

    The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Thursday issued a wildfire smoke alert, with air quality in King County expected to reach levels unhealthy for sensitive groups by Friday. Smoke should begin to clear on Saturday. 

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    To escape the heat, people can drop in at the air-conditioned North Bellevue Community Center 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Crossroads Community Center will also be open for those wanting to cool off Thursday and Friday, 4:30-8 p.m. (The games room and basketball court will not be available.) Residents may also consider malls (Bellevue Square, Crossroads or Factoria), movie theaters, restaurants or libraries.

    While vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks in many settings, due to the COVID-19 delta variant surge, Public Health – Seattle & King County recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor public places.

    King County issued a burn ban for all cities in the county, starting Friday, Aug. 13, at noon. Recreational fires, such as those in backyard fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are banned in Bellevue, as well as all neighboring jurisdictions, until further notice. Outdoor cooking in approved containers such as barbecue grills is still allowed.  

    For those who want to swim, lifeguards are on duty at Chism Beach, Clyde Beach, Enatai Beach and Newcastle Beach parks, noon to 7 p.m. (the swimming area at Meydenbauer Bay Park is closed due to high bacteria levels). The water features at the Crossroads water spray playground and Downtown Park’s Inspiration Playground offer some cooling, particularly for kids, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Please observe distancing at these locations. 

    Tips for Staying Healthy

    High temperatures can cause health problems, especially for the very young, very old and people with certain medical conditions. Here are tips for staying healthy.

    Anyone who will be outside for extended periods should drink plenty of water, seek shade whenever possible, use sunscreen with a high SPF, and be alert to signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.