air quality advisory

Chelan-Douglas Health District releases air quality advisory

The Chelan-Douglas Health District released an air quality advisory on Thursday, Sept. 20. Air quality in Wenatchee is in the hazardous range and holding.

Wenatchee Valley College fall-quarter classes will continue to run as scheduled, with classes starting on Monday, Sept. 24. Emergency notifications will be posted to the college website at

WVC has taken steps to safeguard the quality of the air inside the buildings, said Suzie Benson, WVC Vice President of Administrative Services.

In addition, WVC students may purchase N-95 dust respirators for $2.50 each in the college bookstore.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District release states that, “When air quality is in this range, everyone is at risk of being affected by it. At this point…you should limit exposure to outside air and do not do anything that would increase your breathing rate. People should avoid any exertion.”

The health district makes the following recommendations:

1. For people with certain health problems—like asthma, COPD or emphysema, and cardiovascular disease—the effects can be dangerous. Anyone with such health problems should take this situation seriously! Talk to your health care provider, and consider leaving the area for a few days if you are having smoke-related problems. Some people who have never had an asthma attack may have one in these conditions; if that happens to you or your child, call or visit a doctor immediately.


2. For other people, who do not already have such problems, there is no clear evidence of long-term health effects from a week or two of wildfire smoke exposure. That is not to say it is pleasant or completely harmless. Even otherwise healthy people can have burning eyes and nose, cough, headache and other symptoms from smoke exposure day after day. For everyone, it makes sense to do all you can to minimize your exposure, especially for children. But for most people this is a matter of short term discomfort rather than long-term health problems.

The health district also recommends that people who go outside should use an N-95 mask, not a dust mask or cloth cover. A painter’s mask p-100 may also be used. The fine particles in this smoke can pass through the cloth or dust mask. In vehicles, use the recycle mode on the interior air system. Keep windows closed and limit time outdoors. If possible, go to an area unaffected by wildfire smoke.

The smoke is expected to be around for at least a few more days, possibly longer.