Temporary shelter available with monitored air quality - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Temporary shelter available with monitored air quality

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KITTITAS COUNTY, WA - Residents who are having difficulty escaping the poor air quality, especially those who do not have access to air conditioning during the hot weather, may use the Red Cross shelter located at the Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum at 719 E 3rd Street. Initial monitoring conducted in Putnum Centennial Center on Monday, September 4 showed readings of moderate indoor air quality. The Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) will be monitoring the indoor air quality at the shelter as poor air quality conditions continue in Kittitas County as a result of fires in the area.

Residents can take steps to protect themselves from the health effects of wildfire smoke by following the Washington State Department of Health’s recommendations below:

  • Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Take the following steps when indoors:   
  • Keep windows and doors closed. If there is no air conditioning and it is too hot to keep windows and doors closed, consider leaving the area or spending time in an air conditioned location.
  • Run an air conditioner (if you have one), set it to re-circulate and close the fresh-air intake. Make sure to change the filter regularly.
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce indoor air pollution. A HEPA filter may reduce the number of irritating fine particles in indoor air. A HEPA filter with charcoal will help remove some of the gases from the smoke.
  • Don’t add to indoor pollution. Don’t use candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Don’t vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Don’t smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.
  • Some room air cleaners can help remove smoke particles indoors. California’s air cleaning devices for the home fact sheet (PDF).
  • Information about keeping indoor air free of smoke: Improving Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality during Wildfire Smoke Events (PDF).

KCPHD does not provide air monitoring for private residences, but will continue to work with any Red Cross shelters in Kittitas County to monitor indoor air quality.  N95 masks will continue to be available at KCPHD as well as the Putnam Centennial Center during business hours.  For more information about health concerns relating to air quality or informational resources, please contact KCPHD at (509)-962-7515.