Washington Smoke Map

*The map above is not able to display all state air quality monitors. Click here to see all monitors in Washington: WA Ecology Air Monitors

Note: Some users might notice intermittent discrepancies in colors shown on the map of air quality monitors above, and those reported on the Department of Ecology's official page. This is because Ecology believes their method of calculating the air quality category (i.e. “Good”, “Moderate”, Unhealthy” etc) is more protective of public health in Washington. If in doubt as to which better represents public health risk, use the more stringent of the two (i.e. the map showing worse air quality).

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Smoke in NE Washington and along portions of the path of totality

Smoke forecast
Smoke from fires in north and northeastern WA continue to impact areas north of a line drawn from Spokane to Chelan. Air has been mostly Moderate in these areas with worse conditions closer to fires. Some clearing occurred this afternoon but winds will die down overnight and remain light until Wednesday, causing smoke to slosh back and forth. The Methow Valley, Omak, Colville and Newport are likely to see air quality degrading to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, while the Spokane area is likely to remain Moderate. In general, some daytime clearing followed by poor air from evening until the next morning.

Smoke and the eclipse
Fear not, the eclipse (or partial eclipse, depending on location) will still be visible through the smoke as long as clouds don't get in the way. Smoke won't be as dense as it was when this picture was taken about 2 weeks ago. The sun's corona is bright enough to be seen through the smoke layer.

The fine particle pollution forecast from WSU's AIRPACT model for the 24 hours ending at noon on Monday, is shown below. The approximate path of totality is annotated in purple. Partial obscuration of the view can be expected in some spots west of the Oregon Cascade crest and southwestern Idaho. 

And finally, the National Weather Service says shallow morning clouds will be present in the Puget Sound region tomorrow morning, but should start to burn off between 9-10AM. Areas above 500' elevation should be clear, as will the rest of the state. Enjoy the eclipse!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Strong Winds with More Fire Risk and some local smoke for Central and Eastern WA

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the Central Cascade Valleys for this afternoon, with winds from the west forecast to to gust up to 35 mph.  This can lead to rapid fire spread for any new or existing fires.  The Monument Hill brush fire near Quincy was contained yesterday, but not before it destroyed two homes and other structures/equipment.  Please take extra precaution and delay any planned open burning, especially the areas around Chelan/Wenatchee/Moses Lake.

Expect relatively small smoke plumes from local fires to continue over the weekend. Light smoke from the Norse Peak Fire will continue to be seen around the Yakima area this weekend, especially in the evenings.   The Diamond Creek fire continues to be a problem and light to moderate smoke should be expected around Winthrop over the weekend.  The Noisy Creek Fire will also continue to produce light smoke, which has been seen over the eastern part of the Colville Tribe Reservation.

Smoke from the BC fires will make its way down to NE WA, with moderate air quality expected in Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties on Saturday afternoon and through the evening and into Sunday.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

8/14/2017 Fires in Washington update

Update on active fires in Washington

Cooler weather has helped improve statewide air quality and has assisted firefighters with their work of controlling wildfires in the state. The unstable weather also brought lightning to some areas though and a few new fires were ignited. A summary of active wildfires is shown in the map and table below:

Estimated Containment Date
Diamond Creek
Expected fire behavior: long-range spotting, uphill runs, crowning, and fast rates of spread. Expected fire spread to the south and northwest portions of the fire.
Noisy Creek
Moderate Backing, Creeping, Smoldering. Occasional light rain, cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity's have slowed fire activity. A warming trend will begin Tuesday.  
Bridge Creek
Cooler weather and slight precipitation moderated fire behavior for a second day. Fire still making short runs with rollout debris and backing downhill.
Jolly Mountain
Made up of five fires in a remote area approximately five miles northeast of the north end of Cle Elum Lake. Steep slopes, rugged terrain and the distance from road systems limit access to the fires. Due to the inaccessibility, firefighters are continuing to scout fire line locations with the highest probability of success to protect values at risk.
Hult Butte
No estimate
Six miles west of Vantage, WA. Start date 8/13/2017. 100% lined, no additional growth expected.
East Saddle
10 miles west of Othello, WA. 41 percent contained.
Head Water
Crews worked through cold temperatures Sunday night to solidify containment lines, and Monday’s efforts are expected to increase containment to approximately 40 percent. Commanders expect the fire to be fully contained by the end of shift Thursday.

In addition, a few new fires are reported on the Naches Ranger district but have not yet made it into the daily summary provided by the Northwest Coordination Center. The following was the summary provided by the district:

Norse Peak and American Ridge Fires

Summary:  A lightning storm Friday afternoon ignited 13 fires within the Naches Ranger District west of Yakima, Washington.  Ten of the fires are in the William O. Douglas and Norse Peak Wildernesses.  Three of the more accessible fires were contained Friday night. 

A Sunday morning overflight indicated that fire activity was somewhat less than on Saturday; however, overall there was still enough heat remaining to produce visible smoke and continue steady, but slow fire growth.  These fires will be fully suppressed; however, difficult access and firefighter safety concerns will likely deter immediate direct action.  The strategy is to prevent these fires from coming down out of the Wilderness to SR 410 and threatening the structures and improvements adjacent to it.    

And finally, the map capture below shows the extensive area still covered by active wildfires in British Columbia. The meteorology is keeping the smoke north of the border and out of Washington for now at least. And every air quality monitor in Washington is reporting Good air quality at the moment. We haven't seen that in a long time!
Wildfires and air quality 8/14/2017

8/14/2017 Smoke forecast for vicinity of Diamond Creek fire