SEATTLE - Just as the Seattle Mariners expect to host the Houston Astros this weekend, wildfire smoke will also push into T-Mobile Park bringing dangerously dirty air pollution.
That is why Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is urging everyone to limit their time spent outdoors. The agency also says the pollution could be reason to dig out your N95 facemask.
"I didn’t think it was as bad," said Michael Reed. "I can’t smell the fire like we previously did in the past few weeks."
Reed spent Friday in the sunshine in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. Jefferson Park in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood was also filled with golfers and tennis players. The parks may look different later this weekend as smoke is expected to choke the skies.
"It is recommended to use an N95 mask so you limit exposure as much as possible," said Puget Sound Clean Air Agency spokesperson Isha Khanna.
Just when you thought masks were a thing of the past, three wildfires burning in and near Snohomish County will pump out copious smoke. A red flag warning will push the pollution into Western Washington, creating a potentially dangerous situation for people with underlying health concerns.
"It can severely affect the respiratory and cardiovascular system, and increase risks, especially for sensitive populations," Khanna said.
This weekend, air quality is predicted to plummet and the particulates in the air will impact nearly everyone.
Washington State Department of Health says people should watch out for symptoms like burning eyes, coughing, irritation, headaches or worse. Shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and chest pain and other symptoms could manifest as signs people have been overexposed to wildfire smoke.
"We are not willing to compromise safety to put a containment line in," said wildfire incident commander Leonard Johnson, currently leading efforts to stamp out the Bolt Creek Fire in Snohomish County.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources commissioner Hilary Franz tweeted if firefighters could have done more to quash the smoke earlier they would have. But, the Bolt Creek Fire will continue to smolder and push out more smoke. Difficult wilderness makes it very hard for firefighters to tackle it head-on, even as the state has more resources than ever before. In order to return to some sense of normalcy, Mother Nature also has to help with rainfall.
"Our recommendation would be to limit time outdoors," said Khanna. "Watch the game on television."