As you may have noticed, air quality conditions in the Wenatchee Valley are under assault thanks to the ongoing Balsamroot Fire, which now stands at 250 acres.

The Chelan-Douglas Health District is urging people to stay indoors during this "period of unhealthy air quality."

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A CDHD news release instructs residents to stay vigilant in the face of worsening conditions and "take the necessary steps to avoid negative health impacts. Smoke from wildfires can cause health problems even if you are healthy."

Related symptoms include, but are not limited to, watery or dry eyes; coughing or wheezing; throat or sinus irritation; shortness of breath; headaches; irregular heartbeat; and chest pain.

This practically goes without saying, but if you start to experience one or more of the abovementioned symptoms, "seek medical attention immediately."

Staying indoors is not sufficient protection. Residents are advised to "keep [their] indoor air space clean by improving filtration and creating a clean air room" in the domicile.

The CDHD appreciates that contact with the outdoors is sometimes unavoidable. If you must venture outside of the home, please consider donning a protective face mask.

"Respirator masks, labeled N-95 or N-100, can provide some protection," according to the news release.

In Wenatchee alone, there are eight N95 Mask distribution sites. Click here for a complete list of distribution sites.

NCW Libraries have additional resources, including a number of Portable Air Filters. These "provide relief for affected individuals." Visit their website for more information.

The Washington Smoke Blog is continually updated; head there for "the latest wildfire and local air quality information."

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