The air quality was considered hazardous for everyone Thursday morning in Yakima as smoke from the Schneider Springs Fire burning 18 miles northwest of Naches continues to blanket the area.
When air quality is characterized as hazardous, the state Department of Ecology recommends everyone stay indoors. People with heart or lung conditions or other serious illnesses should consider leaving the area and wearing a mask.
The COVID-19 testing center at Yakima Valley College will be closed Thursday because of the poor air quality, according to a news release from Yakima Valley Memorial hospital. Those seeking a COVID test only are urged not to come to the emergency room at Memorial. The hospital advises using the online Yakima County testing site locator to find an alternate testing site.
A smoke forecast from the Schneider Springs Fire command team expects smoke conditions to persist through Friday, with the pattern of smoke settling at night and increasing in the morning to persist.
The fire was 99,398 acres with 17% containment on Thursday morning, an increase of 2,110 acres from the prior day.