Parks reopen in Seattle as air quality slowly improves

Air quality is slowly improving as smoke from wildfires continues to clear across Washington. The City of Seattle’s Parks and Recreation announced the reopening of parks Friday after closing for a week due to poor air quality.

Though conditions remained hazy in some areas, the city felt it safe enough to reopen parks, allowing more people to get outdoors for the weekend. Officials said smoke is still a concern for children, seniors and those with health conditions. So, the city is reminding those who may be more vulnerable to smoke to continue monitoring their time outdoors.

RELATED: Air Quality Alert extended through Saturday morning for much of Western Washington

Athletic fields and other facilities at King County Parks were also closed for several days due to unhealthy air. An update on the possibility of reopening those amenities could be announced as early as Friday.

COVID-19 testing also resumed in affected smoke areas like King and Pierce counties. Snohomish Health District, however, said it is pausing all COVID-19 appointment registrations through the end of the week until more is known about the air quality.

For those who need a clean air space, the City of Tacoma is offering some relief. It has an Air Quality Relief Site located at the Eastside Community Center, 1721 E 56th Street. The site is open daily from 8-4 P.M. daily until the smoke clears up. The site can accommodate up to 50 people at a time.

Officials in Seattle continue urging people to use caution when outdoors since the air quality is still slowly improving. Anyone who spends time outside is encouraged to monitor vigorous activity, bring plenty of water, wear a mask and maintain social distance.