How Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency monitors Yakima-area air qu - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency monitors Yakima-area air quality

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YAKIMA, WA - For nearly a week now, Yakima County has been covered by smoke caused by fires in northern Washington and Canada.

Locally, the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency monitors air quality by measuring air particle matter. They have monitors in Sunnyside and Yakima.

"The monitors measure pollution and then we convert that to the dot, the color on the map," said Keith Hurley, executive director at the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency.

Hurley is referring to the air quality map on their website. Each town has a colored dot on it. The color of the dot reflects the air quality, from green - meaning good, - to dark purple - meaning hazardous.

"The last seven to eight days we've been bouncing between orange, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups, to the next level, which is red, which is generally unhealthy for everybody," said Hurley.

At the moment, a stage 1 burn ban is in effect for the county. This means that wood burning devices and outdoor burning is restricted. Hurley says the smoke should start clearing up by Saturday. To check the air quality map, visit the Clean Air Agency's website, https://www.yakimacleanair.org.

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