The air quality in the Columbia Valley has deteriorated and is likely to get worse as an air stagnation advisory has been extended into Monday, Nov. 30.
As of 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27, air quality as measured in the Kendall area was borderline unhealthy, according to the Northwest Clean Air Agency. When air quality falls that low, the state health guidance recommends everyone limit time outdoors, avoid exercising outdoors and choose non-strenuous indoor activities. People with respiratory health issues, infants, children, pregnant women and those over 65 also should stay indoors if possible, according to the guidelines from the state Department of Ecology.
The agency also recommends people avoid using wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, especially in that part of Whatcom County. Burning wood adds more particle pollutants to the air.
The clean air agency has more information about health risks and tips for reducing particle pollution on its website, nwcleanair.org. People also can check the air quality monitors for updates on conditions.
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Air quality was much better midday Friday in other parts of the county. A gauge in the Custer area showed the quality as good, while in Bellingham it was on the border between good and moderate. When it’s moderate, people with respiratory issues or illness should limit outdoor activities or do those that are less taxing, such as walking instead of running.
The National Weather Service, which issued the advisory Thursday and extended it through noon Monday, says it could be extended further if the air remains stagnant.
However, rain is expected sometime Tuesday and that should help clear the pollutants. Until then expect more sunny and crisp days with overnight lows in the low to mid-30s, according to the NWS forecast.