Buckle down Cougs: smoky conditions to continue

National Weather Service advises those sensitive to stay indoors during week



The photo above shows a comparsion of Bryan Hall during a clear, sunny day and Monday when smoke from several local wildfires blanketed the building.

RACHEL SUN, Evergreen news editor

The National Weather Service issued an air quality warning for regions including Pullman and the surrounding area.

Smoke in Pullman is expected to linger until at least Thursday, with some relief possible over the weekend when temperatures cool and precipitation is more likely.

Right now, “there’s so much smoke around wind in almost any direction is going to blow more in,” Jon Fox, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said.

Pullman will likely stay smoky, although changes in temperature and other weather factors later in the week could provide relief.

“The best hope is going to be the weekend,” Fox said. “We’re looking at cooler conditions and precipitation.”

As of Monday afternoon, the air quality reached “unhealthy” levels before improving somewhat to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

In a statement published Monday, WSU announced the Facilities Services on the Pullman campus were transitioning buildings to air-recirculation when possible. Some buildings, such as those with labs, will not be able to recirculate air.

N95 masks can be purchased at the Cougar Health pharmacy as well as other convenience stores around campus, said Karly Gomez, assistant to the vice president of student affairs.

Those most affected are children, elderly and those with respiratory illnesses, according to the air quality warning by the National Weather Service.

Football, soccer and cross country did not have scheduled practices for Monday, but would monitor the air quality to determine if Tuesday practice would be moved indoors.

The city of Pullman relocated two outdoor children’s programs to indoor facilities because of the smoke, said Kurt Dahmen, recreation manager for the city of Pullman.

“150 is kind of the magic number where it goes into the unhealthy range,” he said. “Luckily, we’re at the end of our summer programming.”

The city also closed its outdoor pool and Reaney Park and opened the indoor Aquatic Center.