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Smoke chokes Washington, air quality worst in nation

Staff Writer |
Air monitors around Washington state are lighting up the maps like a Christmas tree - and red lights aren't good.

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Almost every community in the state has been hit hard by smoke blowing in from British Columbia wildfires. You can see it, you can almost reach out and touch it, and many of us are feeling it, ECOconnect reports.

If you look at air quality across the U.S., Washington has had the worst readings since the wildfire smoke hit the state earlier this week.

Mike Ragan, Ecology's air monitoring coordinator, took a snapshot of air pollution values across the state early Thursday and found high levels of particle pollution - everywhere.

"We've never seen numbers like this across the board," said Ragan. "When the state's cleanest air monitor hits very high levels of pollution, you know it's bad."

In Washington, it's not uncommon for some parts of the state, usually Central and Eastern Washington, to reach unhealthy levels of air pollution during a wildfire. What's different about the current scenario is that the entire state has been blanketed by a thick layer of smoke and Western Washington in particular is socked in.

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