News Flash

Public Health News

Posted on: August 21, 2018

Wildfires Impact Jefferson County’s Air Quality

For Immediate Release

August 21, 2018

Contact: Stuart Whitford

Jefferson County Environmental Health Director

(360) 385-9411 – Desk
(360) 531-3560 - Cell


Wildfires Impact Jefferson County’s Air Quality


According to the AirNow website, the Port Townsend monitoring station indicates that air quality has improved a little and been upgraded to the “Unhealthy for Everyone” range.  However, Jefferson County is still advising people to:

  • Stay indoors. Do only light indoor activities. Keep windows closed if it is not too hot.
  • Run air conditioners on re-circulate. Close the outside air intake.
  • Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available.
  • Wear an N-95 respirator mask, if you must be outdoors. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

People with asthma, lung and heart disease, or have had a stroke should check with their health care provider for advice about leaving the area.

Anyone with shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, or difficulty moving or speaking should call their health care provider or call 911.

The National Weather Service forecast indicates that the smoke may not dissipate until Thursday, so Jefferson County residents are advised to take these additional steps until the smoke clears.

Additional resources to protect you and your family include:

  • Jefferson County Public Health has a supply of N-95 respirator masks.  People are welcome to come in and pick some up.  Limit of four to each person who visits our offices located at 615 Sheridan Street in Port Townsend.  They are available at both our Clinic Reception Desk and our Environmental Health desk.  
  • Washington State Department of Health's Wildfire Smoke page: Explains the dangers of wildfire smoke and what you can do to protect yourself.
  • "Air Pollution and School Activities" table: Specific recommendations for youth outdoor activities based on air quality conditions
  • Washington Smoke Blog: Contains information about smoke as well as active wildfires.
  • National Weather Service: Weather related alerts, including air quality.

For more information about health concerns relating to air quality or informational resources, please contact Jefferson County Public Health by phone, or visit the JCPH Website.

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Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

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