The air quality in the Yakima Valley is currently the worst in the State of Washington. How will things shape up over the weekend and how much benefit will the Friday rain provide in clearing away some of the smoke from wildfires?

There may be no definitive answer, as Friday morning is witnessing a steady light rain while the AQI or Air Quality Index is at a Very Unhealthy 235. While the National Weather Service indicates some cleaning by tonight and predicted sunny skies on Saturday and Sunday, the Washington State Department of Ecology has issued an Air Quality Alert for our area through Monday at Noon.

What Cities Near Yakima Are Included in the Air Quality Alert This Weekend?

The Washington State Department of Ecology has issued an Air Quality Alert includes the cities of Grandview, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Yakima, Granger, Mabton, Selah, Wapato, White Swan, Zillah, Naches, and Cliffdell.

Air Quality in Yakima Affected by Schneider Springs Fire and Forecast Conditions

The Scheider Springs Wildfire continues to challenge firefighters and is estimated currently at 17% containment, with a predicted containment not coming until October 1st. The smoke from this nearby fire, along with forecasted weather conditions, will likely combine to provide us with more smoke for the next several days. This means poor air quality at times being very unhealthy.

What Are Some Health Concerns Regarding Exposure to Smoke-Filled Air?

The Washington State Department of Ecology says:

Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes...runny nose...aggravate heart and lung diseases...and aggravate other serious health problems.  Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.

As a dog owner, I apply these rules to our beloved Golden Retriever too. When conditions are at their worst, walks around the neighborhood are not a good idea for you or your pet. Our vet reminds us to keep Tater hydrated too.

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

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