6 tips for staying healthy during smoky air conditions

SEATTLE — Smoke from wildfires is clogging the sky across the western United States, blotting out mountains and city skylines from Oregon to Colorado and creating unhealthy air quality conditions for many in the PNW.

High winds brought smoke from wildfires into much of western Washington on Monday. On Tuesday morning, conditions were much worse in many areas.

>> Smoky skies reduce air quality; high fire danger through Thursday

Variable winds continue to make it difficult to predict how long the smoke will last, but we expect to see unhealthy air quality conditions for sensitive groups at least through Wednesday and possibly beyond, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said.

Below, find tips from the Washington State Department of Health on how to stay healthy during smoky air conditions.

  1. Stay indoors and keep the air there as clean as possible by keeping windows and doors closed and running an air conditioner if possible (set to recirculate, closing the fresh-air intake and regularly changing the filter).
  2. Don't add to your indoor pollution. That means not burning candles or incense and not using food boilers, fireplaces, gas stoves or vacuuming inside with a vacuum that doesn't have a HEPA filter. (Read why you shouldn't vacuum here.)
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. If you don't have an air conditioner and are feeling hot with the windows closed, close your curtains to reduce heat gain and use fans to circulate the air.
  5. Don't exercise outside.
  6. Stay updated by regularly checking the air quality reports (or this map) and listening to the news and health warnings for your community.

Additionally, if you have asthma or a lung disease, you should speak with your doctor and follow their directions.

Stay up to date on weather conditions and get forecasts for your neighborhood by downloading the free KIRO 7 PinPoint Weather app.