Air quality is so bad in Washington that it broke the monitoring system
Smoke in the western United States (Photos: NOAA)

While fires are destroying homes and lives, those in safety still aren't quite as protected as they might think. According to the Seattle Times, air quality has been so bad that it broke the monitoring system.

"As of Sunday morning, air quality readings throughout Eastern and Central Washington, as well as Seattle, showed very unhealthy to hazardous levels of air pollution for everyone," said the update.

For anyone suffering from the after-affects of the coronavirus, COPD, lung cancer, asthma, and other breathing challenges, the air is downright dangerous. Children and the elderly are especially at risk.

On the West Coast, the problem is that the air is simply "sitting" on the state. There is weather on its way that should help calm things down.

"But the Washington Department of Ecology says it will be Monday before Western Washington sees improvements," said the report.

The Center for Disease Control encourages Americans to stay indoors with everything closed up tight.

"Do not rely on dust masks for protection," the CDC also says. "Paper 'comfort' or 'dust' masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke. Read more on choosing and using respirators to protect your lungs from smoke and ash."

See the graphics below: