Even a blind person can tell that the smoke from the Schneider Springs wildfire that has socked the Yakima Valley in this past week is ridiculously bad. Just how bad though?

Late last week we asked you to send in a photo of how thick the air looked from your perch no matter where located in the valley. We received submissions from the upper to lower parts and from east to west as well. Visually, it isn't pretty. Scientifically, it's worse.

The Yakima Clean Air Authority along with the Department of Ecology have a fascinating interactive map of the entire state of Washington that is updated in real time showing the amount of pollutants and particles in the air we breathe at any given time. Earlier today (August 17) in the early part of the afternoon, Yakima was by far the worst in the entire state.

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Using their criterion, Yakima registered a score of 225. According to the experts, anything between 201-300 is considered "unhealthy" and a mark of 301 or greater is cause for alarm as it is deemed "hazardous" to your health.

The only portion of the state even close were parts of the Spokane Valley that ranked in the 70s.

With the Schneider Springs fire still at virtually 0% containment, these conditions may be hanging around for awhile. It would be advisable to check where we are at any given time using this helpful tool.


How does this year's wildfire season stack up against some of the other weather-related debacles in the United States?

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