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Sensitive to air quality? Watch what you do today

Smoky skies from wildfires in central British Columbia turned the rising sun into an orange ball over Lake Whatcom the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017.
Smoky skies from wildfires in central British Columbia turned the rising sun into an orange ball over Lake Whatcom the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. The Bellingham Herald

The Washington state Department of Ecology issued an air quality alert Wednesday for Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish counties as smoke from British Columbia wildfires moved south this week, creating a haze over what should be blue skies in the region.

Washington’s Air Monitoring Network labeled parts of Whatcom County, such as Lynden and Maple Falls, on Wednesday as “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Young children and people who already have breathing difficulties should limit their activity outdoors and seek medical help if they have any problems, the Northwest Clean Air Agency said.

In Bellingham, air quality was rated moderate, and Ecology monitoring stations in Ferndale and Custer report air quality as good.

Monitoring stations Wednesday afternoon showed the air quality as “unhealthy” at Yew Street, and “very unhealthy” in Maple Falls.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency also issued a Stage 1 burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, including charcoal barbecues, outdoor fire pits and wood stoves.

BC Wildfire Service spokesman Kevin Skrepnek warned that winds from the interior could bring in more wildfire smoke over Canada’s Lower Mainland Wednesday, according to the Abbortsford News.

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