Waupaca Materials fire affecting air quality for those in the Wa - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Waupaca Materials fire affecting air quality for those in the Wapato area

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, WA - It's a common occurrence to see smoke or haze in the air this time of the year all over the state, but the big one we've shared with you yesterday is still burning tonight.

The fire at Waupaca Materials in Parker, south of Yakima, is creating a ton of smoke in the area due to large quantities of mulch and wood.

Reporter Haley Gibbs spoke with Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency and told us that the quality of the air in Yakima is sitting nice and even in the yellow range of air quality, which is good. However, as for the residents out near the Wapato area, it's a bit of a different story.

Yesterday, flames roared on the log decks out at Waupaca Materials for the majority of the afternoon, and since then firefighters have put piles of mulch on the fire to try and put it out faster. This decision seems to be working, but it has also caused a lot of smoke in the area.

Although the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency says they have no jurisdiction over the reservation, they did say that Toppenish is in the orange range for air quality. This means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups like little kids with respiratory issues as well as the elderly, such as Ofelia Valencia, who is just down the road from Waupaca Materials, visiting her son-in-law.

"The smoke, it's very bad because I feel like I'm getting asthma," Valencia told us. "It bothers me very much, it smells a lot and it's not right."

Because this fire will continue to burn and smoke for at least a few more days, Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency advises people who have respiratory issues to stay indoors and away from the smoke.

And a reminder for those closer to Yakima, we are seeing a little bit of smoke from the Rock Creek Road fire near Naches, but our air quality is still sitting good in the yellow range.

We will continue to keep everyone updated if the air quality changes.