Tags: seattle | air quality | beijing | wildfires

Seattle Air Quality 'Worse Than Beijing' After Wildfires

Seattle Air Quality 'Worse Than Beijing' After Wildfires

A girl works on a drawing next to an unused viewing scope as a smoky haze obscures the Space Needle and downtown Seattle on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 16 August 2018 11:12 AM

Seattle's air quality is "worse than Beijing" after the wildfires that have raged throughout eastern Washington, officials said on Tuesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency reported that Seattle's air-quality index was sitting at 171 on Wednesday, which is deemed "unhealthy," while the air quality index reading for Beijing was at 38, which means "good," Fox News reported.

The air quality index measures air quality in increments of 0 to 500, with anything below 50 being considered as good while ratings above 100 viewed as "unhealthy for sensitive groups," Kiro reported.

In light of these readings, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has recommended that vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly in the state reduce outdoor activities and prolonged exertion until quality improves.

There have been 939 wildfires tearing through Washington State this year alone, Fox News noted, with more than 34,000 acres of land protected by the state's Department of Natural Resources being scorched by the blazes.

The wildfires continue to burn, consuming roughly 135,000 acres combined in days, with hundreds of homes and buildings threatened as residents prepare to evacuate, Komo News noted.

The smoke from these fires is spreading all the way to the East Coast and parts of New England, according to a tweet by the National Weather Service.

In Seattle, there has since been a drop in the EPA's air-quality index reading, with a more "acceptable" number forecast for Seattle on Thursday.

Visibility has also improved since Wednesday, when the settling smoke lowered visibility to as little as 3 miles, The Seattle Times noted.

"The wind will scour out and clean the worst of the smoke, but won't completely get rid of it," National Weather Service meteorologist Danny Mercer said.

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Wildfires burning throughout eastern Washington have clouded the state with heavy smoke, leading to air quality in Seattle that is "worse than Beijing," officials said Tuesday.
seattle, air quality, beijing, wildfires
Thursday, 16 August 2018 11:12 AM
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