New mobile app maps air quality across the state

Hazy Skies

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued another air quality alert on Monday, warning Minnesotans about the ongoing dangers of particulates in the air from wildfires burning in Canada.

Seattle's Space Needle was swathed in haze on Monday, and it was impossible to see nearby mountains.

"The millions of vehicles on Bay Area roads during these hot summer months create unhealthy air quality and make breathing more hard for many", said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the air district.

"You can't hold as much air in your lungs, that's the natural part of the aging process, but it means the smoke might have more effect on you than a healthy younger person, especially if you happen to have some chronic disease", Henderson said. Levels that poor have more commonly been reported on the eastern side of the state, closer to where wildfires are burning.

"That smoke is just sitting down in some areas, and I think that's what's going on in Lake Forest Park", he said.

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A shift in winds on Sunday brought in wildfire smoke from British Columbia and the Cascades into the Seattle and Portland areas.

The Federal Aviation Administration said planes bound for the Sea-Tac International Airport, Seattle's main airport, may be delayed because of low visibility. All aquatic centers are closed Sunday, and Spokane Recreational League events are cancelled.

Health officials are advising people to reduce or completely avoid strenuous outdoor activities. For current air quality conditions, health precautions, and additional information on wildland fire smoke, visit the Washington Smoke Blog at http://wasmoke.blogspot.com.

Children, elderly folks and people with respiratory illness could experience scratchy throats, itchy eyes and coughs.

"We are disappointed that we can't see the mountains and the whole city, because our relatives live here and tell us how pretty it is, and we're missing it", Bev Harris said.

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