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Meteorologists: Increase in air quality alerts linked to climate change

22 August 2018

According to air pollution monitors, fine particle pollution is at or above a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Smoke from wildfires clogged the sky across the U.S. West, blotting out mountains and city skylines from OR to Colorado, delaying flights and forcing authorities to tell even healthy adults in the Seattle area to stay indoors.

Massive clouds of choking smoke from the wildfires has prompted air quality advisories for much of Western Canada and also forced the cancellations of two triathlons in B.C.'s Okanagan region on Sunday.

The advisory runs through 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Hazy conditions will continue through Wednesday before air quality improves Thursday.

The Puget Sound Air Agency has issued a Stage 1 burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties until further notice and is addition to existing fire safety burn bans.

Another day of very low air quality is affecting all of Big Sky Country. Unhealthy air will be common across the lowlands.

"The levels we measured at Hope over the weekend, from what we can tell... are, I think, the highest wildfire smoke levels we've measured certainly in the last few years", he says.

It is due to smoke from more than 500 forest fires blowing across the Canadian border, blanketing large areas of the Pacific Northwest.

According to the National Weather Service, an Air Quality Alert will remain in effect through midweek.

There is now an Air Quality Alert is in effect for every county in Montana.

In British Columbia, more than 10,000 homes across the province are on alert to evacuate due to the almost 600 wildfires burning, BC Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek said.

The Department of Ecology has advised that children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses stay indoors, or limit outside activity in areas classified as hazardous.

Meteorologists: Increase in air quality alerts linked to climate change