Air quality in Seattle currently worse than Beijing

As wildfires in British Columbia and eastern Washington continue to burn, Seattle residents woke again Wednesday morning to thick haze and air quality that is currently worse than Beijing's, a city notorious for poor air conditions.

As of Wednesday at 12 p.m., Seattle's air-quality index was at 171 (unhealthy) while Beijing was at 38 (good), according to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Beijing U.S. Embassy Real-time Air Quality Index, respectively.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is designating the air quality in the region as "unhealthy," recommending that people, especially vulnerable groups such as young children and the elderly, reduce outdoor activities and stay indoors until quality improves.

As residents in the Pacific Northwest struggle with the thick, smoky haze, KIRO 7 looked into where the air quality levels stand.

Air quality is measured through the Air Quality Index, which ranges from 0 to 500 — the higher the number, the lower the quality. Any rating below 50 is considered good, while ratings above 100 are considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Fortunately for Pacific Northwest residents, the department of ecology provides an active Washington's Air Monitoring Network map with up-to-date information collected from more than 80 monitoring stations statewide.

Click here to view the map on the Department of Ecology website.

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