Health Educators: Air Quality Not as Bad as Taylor Bridge Fire - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Health Educators: Air Quality Not as Bad as Taylor Bridge Fire

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KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. - The Kittitas County Health Department has been getting a lot of calls from people concerned about air quality. Many are concerned this summer could be a repeat of last summer when the Taylor Bridge fire near Cle Elum caused unhealthy and hazardous air quality conditions in Kittitas County for weeks.

Health educators say even though the Colockum Tarps fire is over 66,000 acres, more than twice the size of the Taylor Bridge Fire, the air quality is not nearly as bad.

Health experts say it has been fluctuating between good, moderate, and unhealthy for sensitive groups only.

"Last year we were seeing extended periods of unhealthy, very unhealthy hazardous air. Where at this point we haven't moved beyond unhealthy for sensitive populations so we're all hoping that this is where it's going to stay," said Kasey Knutson with Kittitas County Public Health.

Health experts define sensitive groups as people with asthma, respiratory infections and lung or heart disease.

The county's public health department says there is no way to tell if air quality will worsen in the next few days because it largely depends on the wildfire situation and weather conditions.

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