Spokane's air quality improves to unhealthy for some groups

Air Quality Advisories Extended to Almost All Oregon Counties

Seattle air pollution equivalent to smoking nine cigarettes thanks to wildfire ash

The Air Quality Index Tuesday was 190 (parts of the city climbed to 220) and Wednesday was still 185. Unfortunately, with the intense fire activity in Washington and British Columbia, we will likely see smoke pour back into the state on Saturday. More on the expanding air quality statements and the big cool down, below.

By Thursday evening, VanHorn said Spokane should see a fairly significant upgrade from the weeks-long trend of bad air.

The Pacific air will take longer to reach the inland communities of the south coast and B.C.'s interior will see little improvement in smoky conditions as northwest winds prevail in the area.

The smoke plume will move off to the east Friday evening.

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The air quality could remain in the "unhealthy" range or even the "very unhealthy" range at times through Friday noon, according to the Benton Clean Air Agency.

Small particles breathed in from the fires are interpreted as foreign invaders by the body, the same as a bacterium or a virus, Henderson said, adding it mounts an attack, or an immunological response, which leads to inflammation.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange): Increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.

Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.

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Canadian Armed Forces troops have been deployed to B.C. during the floods and wildfires this year, as well as for fires in 2017.

Not only is the smoke affecting air quality in this province, it's also covering parts of Washington State and OR and is spreading across Canada.

Where did the clear sky go? Residents in Portland, Ore., who were up early saw a blood-red sun shrouded in smoke and huffed their way through another day of polluted air.

Hundreds of flights have been grounded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport due to the poor visibility.

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