Mile Marker 28 Fire: Smoke jeopardizing the health of many

SATUS PASS, Wash. -- Unfortunately, whenever we see a fire like this, air quality levels immediately take a hit. Across the Yakima Valley, more people are choosing to stay indoors, rather than breath in all the smoke.

The biggest concern for firefighters is controlling this endless fire that burns near Satus Pass. But second on their list is what the fire produces: thick pockets of harmful smoke.

(((Keith Maybee)))
"It's really really smokey and hard to see", said Keith Maybee the managing supervisor for the Department of Transportation.

As the fires continues to grow, more and more smoke is billowing into local neighborhoods--- jeopardizing the health of many.

Nola Tabayoyon told KIMA she has to, "keep taking cough drops and try to stop the coughing and keep everything out of the house."

Nola Tabayoyon suffers from COPD. In this smoke, every breath is a hardship. Nola told us her asthma kicked up. Now she is forced to use her inhaler more than normal.

We met with Joan Felton the day after the fire began--- and already she was keeping her inhaler handy.

'I use my inhaler which raises my blood pressure and makes me sick. So yea I cant be around the smoke at all", said Joan.

The fire continues to grow and produces more smoke each day. Emergency response personnel tell me the smoke is so thick in burns to breath.

"The smoke has many particles and chemical in there including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide", Dr. Lee told KIMA just how potent smoke can be on the lungs.

Dr. Lee says these chemicals can only heighten one's health condition.

The Mile Marker 28 Fire is still uncontrolled. Exactly 869 response personnel are battling the flames.

More crews and equiptment were called in last night. This is now a level 2 fire and in some areas south of the flames, they are in a level 3 evacuation.