Wildfires are, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon in the Pacific northwest. However, they have struck once again bringing destruction to thousands of acres of land along with horrible air quality.
Experts claim the wildfires are due to an unprecedented, dry October. Wildfire season typically ends by October, but the dry weather has yet to cease. Wildfires are frequently ignited by lightning, but occasionally they are man-made due to fireworks or firearms.
In the last few weeks, the top 10 locations in the U.S. with the worst air quality are all in either Washington or Oregon. Smoke inhalation symptoms such as dry coughs, sore throat, or difficulty breathing are increasing as clouds of smoke plague Seattle and other areas. Luckily, rain clouds are finally clearing up some of the smoke, but make sure you are taking other preventative measures to protect yourself from smoke inhalation.
According to new statistics from IQAir, Seattle has had more than twice the amount of allowable days for unhealthy air quality according to the EPA. However, the fire departments can only do so much to prevent the fires. The heaviest wildfires are occurring in vacant, non-residential areas. A spokesperson for the Washington Department of Natural Resources explained, “It is unsafe to put firefighters into these steep and remote areas.” Therefore, the priority for the firefighters lies with residential areas or areas with critical infrastructure.
For those who are unfamiliar with the natural (or unnatural) wildfires in the Pacific northwest, make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect yourself from its harmful effects. We at ThirdLeaf NW want you to stay safe and healthy as wildfire season (hopefully) comes to an end.