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Central Washington University

CWU to Host Table Mountain Fire Community Meeting Tonight/Fire Update

Community meeting tonight:
There will be a community meeting tonight in the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Theater at 7:00 p.m. to update residents about the fire and answer questions. 

Emergency shelters:
Yesterday the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Mercer Creek Church at 1407 N. B Street, in Ellensburg. The emergency small animal and livestock shelter opened at the Kittitas County Event Center at the fairgrounds.

Football game moved to Bothell:
Poor air quality is prompting CWU to move Saturday's home football game to Pop Keeney Stadium, 9809 N.E. 188th St. in Bothell.  For driving directions please see http://www.nsd.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=69523.

Buses have been reserved to Wildcat fans students to the game. They will be leaving at 9:45 am from the Bassetties residence halls, just east of the SURC.  Students may purchase tickets at the Wildcat Shop for $5.

The buses are being sponsored by Student Union Operations, University Housing and New Student Programs, and Dining Services, along with support from the Wildcat Shop, Campus Life, and the Associated Students of CWU Board of Directors.

Air quality.
Barry Kling, Administrator and Director of Environmental Health at the Chelan Douglas Health district today clarified information in the Wenatchee World about the effects of exposure to smoke with the following statement. The full statement is available at http://www.cdhd.wa.gov/:

1. For people with certain health problems – like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema, and cardiovascular disease – the effects can be dangerous. Anyone with such health problems should take this situation seriously! Talk to your health care provider about it, and consider leaving the area for a few days if you are having smoke-related problems. Some people who have never had an asthma attack may have one in these conditions – if that happens to you or your child, call or visit a doctor immediately.

2. For other people, who do not already have such problems, there is no clear evidence of long-term health effects from a week or two of wildfire smoke exposure. That is not to say it is pleasant or completely harmless. Even otherwise healthy people can have burning eyes and nose, cough, headache, and other symptoms from smoke exposure day after day. For everyone, it makes sense to do all you can to minimize your exposure, especially for children. But for most people this is a matter of short term discomfort rather than long term health problems.

Following are air quality classifications as of 2:00 p.m. on Thursday (September 20) and links to fire updates for your area:

--Ellensburg: "unhealthy"

Fire info for the Table Mountain Complex is available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3269/. For additional questions about the air quality please contact Kittitas County Environmental Health at 509-962-7698.

--Wenatchee: "hazardous"

Fire info for the Wenatchee Complex is available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3258/; for the Okanogan Complex see http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3261/

--Yakima: "unhealthy for sensitive groups"

Fire info for the Yakima Complex is at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3256/; The Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency monitoring page is at http://www.yakimacleanair.org/Burn%20Center.htm.

--Moses Lake: "unhealthy for sensitive groups"

Fire info all four fire groups listed is likely relevant for Moses Lake.

 

The state Department of Ecology (DOE) monitors air quality at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.htm. When air quality is classified as "unhealthy," or worse, DOE and Kittitas County Environmental Health recommends that residents—including CWU students and employees—try to stay inside as much as possible and to limit physical activity when outdoors.

CWU Facilities Management Department has taken measures to reduce the amount of outside air entering buildings. It is expected that the current air quality conditions will continue for the next several days.