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).





Monday, October 15, 2012

10-15-2012 Smoke Blog Now Deactivated

Due to lessening wildfire risk and much improved air quality, this Washington Smoke Information Blog has been deactivated.  It will be available again next fire season if needed.  The best place to learn about current air quality conditions in Washington is from the Department of Ecology at this site: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/
This blog site was created in September 2012 to rapidly provide air quality and health information in response to public concerns from wildfire smoke.  The goal was to provide coordinated, timely and public “one-stop information” so that individuals could make informed decisions to protect their health.  During a wildfire smoke incident, this blog will be used to provide links to critical information that the public may be concerned about, such as air quality conditions and forecasts, school and activity closures, burn bans, location of clean air shelters, and travel restrictions due to visibility. Information posted on the blog is coordinated by an informal team of state, federal, tribal and local agencies striving to provide consistent and accurate information during air quality smoke incidents from wildfires.
The links on this blog that connect to the various agencies that provide information on smoke, wildfire and health management will continue to work.
We would like to hear from you if you have questions or comments.  Please contact Janice Peterson at jlpeterson@ fs.fed.us

Thank you for your interest.

Friday, October 12, 2012

10-12-2012 1645 Governor Lifts Burn Ban for Western WA

Gov. Gregoire to lift burn ban for Western Washington

OLYMPIA – Due to today’s rainfall and additional rain in the forecast, Gov. Chris Gregoire this afternoon modified a statewide burn ban to lift the ban for counties in Western Washington starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13th. For all counties east of the Cascades, an emergency proclamation declaring a State of Emergency and banning all outdoor burning will remain in effect through midnight Monday, Oct. 15th.

“Today’s rain is a welcome change,” Gregoire said. “The new weather pattern now covering parts of our state eliminates the need to continue the burn ban in Western Washington. With that said, now is not the time to let down our guard. I urge all Washingtonians to continue to take extra caution to prevent additional human-caused fires. And given the on-going dry conditions east of the Cascades, it makes sense to continue to ban all outdoor burning in Eastern Washington. We must continue to take every step possible to ensure firefighters on the ground can continue to focus on the challenges at hand.”

Gregoire made her decision after consulting with Department of Natural Resources Director Peter Goldmark and Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste.

The burn ban still in place for Eastern Washington prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to:

•           Campfires

•           Bonfires

•           Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity

•           Ignition of fireworks. 

Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided that use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and is at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.

Meanwhile, air quality is still a concern in Eastern Washington. According to the state’s Department of Ecology, Trout Lake was experiencing “hazardous” air quality during the morning hours today, mostly due to strong smoke impacts from nearby wildfires. Monitors showed the air in Cashmere, Entiat, Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Toppenish, Rosalia, Pullman, and Maple Falls was “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

Ecology is monitoring air quality across Washington state where smoke-filled air remains.

To check for air quality monitoring information, visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx

 

 

Air quality and smoke forecast on Friday 10/12/2012 at 8AM PDT

Central Washington Air Quality Report from US Forest Service Temporary Monitors

Cashmere- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Cle Elum- Good
Entiat- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Pateros -Good
Quincy - Good
Trout Lake- Hazardous

For statewide monitoring information, please see https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa

Smoke dispersion forecast

Light rain has already begun falling in western WA this morning and winds are slowly picking up. Not much rain resulting from this front in eastern WA, but winds will pick up and help with smoke dispersion, starting  this afternoon. The uptick in winds will precede any precipitation, so it is likely that there will be areas of windblown dust around the Columbia Basin today. Some patchy, light rain is possible in eastern WA on Saturday with more rain Sunday through Monday. We can expect a trend toward improving air quality from today through Monday, just about everywhere in Washington State. Models suggest that the Lewis-Clark valley might be the last to clear out, as winds may not immediately penetrate down into the valley.

Though rains wont entirely extinguish wildfires in eastern WA or central ID, the threat of persistent smoke will abate for the next several days.

While firefighters are close to containing some of the large wildfires, bear in mind that containment does not imply the absence of smoke. Wildfires can continue to produce low-buoyancy smoldering plumes for weeks. These can easily remain trapped close to the ground and impact nearby communities. Wildfires in central Idaho have been pouring smoke into area valleys for weeks. Easterly winds - though not expected in the immediate future - could transport this smoke into the Palouse and Lewis-Clark valley, as they did yesterday.

This is the last planned wildfire smoke forecast for now. However we are closely monitoring conditions associated with smoke dispersion, be it from wildfires, agricultural/ outdoor burning, or woodstove use. If any significant air quality impacts are expected, they will be addressed through the usual channels and mechanisms.

Questions? Please contact:

Ranil Dhammapala
Washington State Department of Ecology
Tel: 360-407-6807
Email: ranil.dhammapala@ecy.wa.gov

------------------------------------------------

The National Weather Service's Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas Counties expires at noon today:
http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

The Governor's burn has covering all Washington Counties expires at midnight Monday October 15th. The Governor's proclamation (http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-17.pdf) allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.  Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.

------------------------------------------------

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Air quality on Thursday 10/11/2012 at 7AM PDT

Central Washington Air Quality Report from US Forest Service Temporary Monitors
Cashmere- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Cle Elum- Good
Entiat- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Pateros -Good
Quincy - Good
Trout Lake- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

For statewide monitoring information, please check https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa
Another very useful webpage for hourly and 24 hour data is http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org

No major changes to the smoke dispersion forecast issued yesterday. Next update on Friday morning.

Questions? Please contact:

Ranil Dhammapala
Washington State Department of Ecology
Tel: 360-407-6807
Email: ranil.dhammapala@ecy.wa.gov

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Current conditions and smoke dispersion forecast for Wednesday 10/10/2012

Issued by:
Ranil Dhammapala
Washington State Department of Ecology
Tel: 360-407-6807
Email: ranil.dhammapala@ecy.wa.gov

Central Washington Air Quality Report from US Forest Service Temporary Monitors
Cashmere- Unhealthy for sensitive Groups.
Cle Elum- Good
Entiat- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Pateros -Good
Quincy - Good
Trout Lake- Unhealthy

For statewide monitoring information, please check https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/
Another very useful webpage for hourly and 24 hour data is http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/

Forecast
Trout Lake is recording Unhealthy air this morning, and there is more orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) in Western WA than in eastern WA: Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Cashmere, Entiat and Clarkston in eastern WA, as opposed to 7 sites west of the Cascades. Data from the Maple Falls site (currently Very Unhealthy) are suspect. Remaining sites both east and west of the Cascades are about evenly split between Good and Moderate air quality. Light to moderate winds throughout much of eastern WA last afternoon helped reduce the fine particle levels. In Western WA, winds weakened during the day and night and allowed woodsmoke to accumulate in several areas.

Calm conditions are expected in most of the state today, although areas near the Cascade gaps and the Okanogan river valley might see moderate winds, before they die down overnight. This will help with smoke dispersion, but will also push some smoke into the Basin. There will be areas of eastern WA where dispersion remains less-than-optimal through Friday evening, so expect air quality to be a mixture of Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Areas closest to wildfires are likely to see air that is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups or Unhealthy.

Changes occur on Friday evening onward, when winds pick up as a warm front approaches. Eastern WA may not get much precipitation with this system, but it will certainly assist dispersion. Several other weather systems are also likely over the weekend, and this is good news for smoke impacted communities. It is fair to expect improving air quality as the weekend progresses. The exact location(s) and timing of precipitation however is uncertain at this point.

Unless there are significant changes to the forecast, another update will be issued on Friday morning.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas Counties through noon Friday:
http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

The burn ban has been extended to cover all Washington Counties, and runs through midnight Monday October 15th. The Governor's proclamation (http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-17.pdf) allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities. Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday 10/9: No major changes to yesterday's smoke forecast

No major changes to yesterday's smoke dispersion forecast. Another update will be issued on Wednesday morning.

Questions about the forecast? Please contact:

Ranil Dhammapala
Washington State Department of Ecology
Tel: 360-407-6807
Email: ranil.dhammapala@ecy.wa.gov

10/09/12 Air Monitor 0800 PDT update

10-09-12 Air Monitor Update 0800 PDT
Central Washington Air Quality Report from Forest Service Temporary Monitor Locations
Cashmere-  Unhealthy
Cle Elum- Good
Entiat- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Pateros -Good
Quincy - Moderate
Trout Lake- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups





If you need monitoring information, please check this webpage: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/

Another very useful webpage for a grab hourly and 24 hour data, Puget Sound Clean Air and their air quality tool: http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/

Governor Gregoire’s emergency proclamation and statewide burn ban http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1980&newsType=1

Monday, October 8, 2012

10/08/2012 Computer modeling shows wetter weather may help clear smoke next weekend


Washington Department of Ecology news

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 8, 2012

Computer modeling shows wetter weather may help clear smoke next weekend

SPOKANE- Smoke from wildfires in Washington and Idaho is still affecting residents of Washington in several areas as the state moves into a fifth week of poor air quality.  The Governor’s burn ban has been extended to cover all Washington counties, and now runs through midnight on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012.

Don’t expect the wildfires to be doused with rain this work week. Though firefighters have been making great progress in fighting the fires, they continue to smolder. For several days, however, computer models have been hinting at a change to more typical cooler and wetter October weather, possibly starting this coming weekend.

Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) air quality monitors indicate Wenatchee, Omak, Entiat, Cashmere, Trout Lake and Clarkston are all in the “unhealthy” category this morning, while Leavenworth, Ellensburg, Chelan and Pullman are recording “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Other monitors statewide are almost evenly split between “good” and “moderate” air quality. Most of Spokane is reading “moderate.”

According to Ranil Dhammapala, air quality forecaster for Ecology, Western Washington was spared from most of the wildfire smoke yesterday, while far Eastern Washington felt the effects of some smoke from Idaho wildfires, especially in Clarkston and the Palouse. Eastern Washington should see a short-lived uptick in northerly winds this afternoon that will help disperse the smoke.

In addition, locally generated wood smoke is measurable at many sites across the state.

Easterly winds are gone and unlikely to return this week. Today and Tuesday should see mostly calm-to-mild winds, depending on the local terrain. Areas closest to the fires will see “unhealthy” air. Many parts of the rest of Washington will experience a mixture of “good,” “moderate” and “unhealthy for sensitive groups” conditions, with some daytime clearing.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas counties to run through Friday, Oct. 12, at noon: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert

The Governor's proclamation extending the burn ban is at:  http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-17.pdf. The ban allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities. Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.

###

Media Contact: Jani Gilbert, Communications, 509-329-3495; cell, 509-990-9177;

  e-mail jani.gilbert@ecy.wa.gov.

For more information:

 !    Joint blog on wildfire smoke and related information: http://wasmoke.blogspot.com

Check for air quality monitoring information: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

Washington Department of Health smoke information:  http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom.aspx

Ecology’s website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov

Ecology’s social media: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html

10/08/12 Wildfire Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT Update

Ecology Air Quality Report : We will no longer be wrapping up the current values you can find info about Current Air Quality on our Clickable Map: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

Central Washington Air Quality Report from Forest Service Temporary Monitor Locations
  ·         Cashmere-  Unhealthy
  ·         Cle Elum- Moderate
  ·         Entiat- Unhealthy
  ·         Pateros -Good
  ·         Quincy – Good
  ·         Trout Lake- Unhealthy

Air Quality forecast, 8AM Monday 8 October 2012
Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology
Light winds did not allow for much clearing over the last day. Some modest late morning/ afternoon clearing occurred in many areas, but those gains were either wiped out or not further improved upon overnight. Air quality in Wenatchee, Omak, Entiat, Cashmere, Trout Lake and Clarkston are all Unhealthy this morning, while Leavenworth, Ellensburg, Chelan and Pullman are recording Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. Other monitors statewide are almost evenly split between Good and Moderate air.
Wildfire smoke impacts on western WA yesterday were small. Idaho wildfire smoke continued to impact the Palouse and Lewis-Clark valley in moderate amounts. In addition locally generated woodsmoke is measurable at many sites across the state.
Easterly winds are gone and unlikely to return this week. Monday & Tuesday should see mostly calm-to-mild winds driven by local terrain. Areas of eastern WA should see a short-lived uptick in northerly winds this afternoon, that will help with dispersion.
For several days now models have been advertizing a change to more typical October weather (i.e. cooler and wetter), starting around the coming weekend. Don’t expect the wildfires to be doused this work week. Though firefighters have been making great progress, fires continue to smolder in spite of being almost contained.
Areas closest to the fires will see Unhealthy air. It will be a mixture of Good, Moderate and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in other areas, with nighttime and morning smoke and some daytime clearing.
The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas Counties:
http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert
The Governor's office has extended the burn ban to cover all Washington Counties through midnight Monday October 15th. The Governor’s proclamation (http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/news-view.asp?pressRelease=1980&newsType=1 ) allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.  Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.
Thanks

Sunday, October 7, 2012

10-07-12 1320 Governor extends E Washington burn ban

For Release: Immediate Contact: Governor's Communications Office

Date: Oct. 7, 2012 Phone: 360-902-4136


Gov. Gregoire extends State of Emergency and burn ban to include all counties in Washington state

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that an emergency proclamation declaring a State of Emergency and banning all outdoor burning has been extended through midnight Monday, Oct. 15th, and now includes all counties in Washington state.

"Washington state is experiencing a weather pattern like one we've rarely seen before," Gregoire said. "The long, warm and dry spell has elevated fire danger across our state. Given that we don't expect a significant amount of rainfall for quite some time, it makes sense to extend this proclamation and expand the burn ban. Extraordinary dry conditions across our state require that all Washingtonians exercise the utmost caution and allow fire crews to focus on the challenges at hand."

"Most often it's wind, or snow or heavy rain that causes us problems," said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. "In this case some very nice weather also has an extreme downside. While we'd all like to be camping or picnicking in the woods, open fires just can't be a part of the mix."

The burn ban prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to:

  • Campfires
  • Bonfires
  • Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity
  • Ignition of fireworks

Liquid fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted provided that use is conducted over a non-flammable surface and is at least five feet from flammable vegetation. Charcoal grills are permitted at private residences under the same conditions.

The proclamation issued by the governor:

  • Directs state agencies and departments to continue to utilize state resources and to do everything reasonably possible to assist affected political subdivisions in an effort to respond to and recover from the fires;
  • Notes the order into active state service of the organized militia of Washington state, to include the National Guard and the State Guard remains in effect; and
  • Instructs the Washington State Emergency Operations Center to continue to coordinate all event-related assistance to the affected areas.

The state's Department of Ecology is monitoring air quality across Washington state where smoke-filled air remains.

To check for air quality monitoring information, visit: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/air_monitoring_data/WAQA_Intro_Page.html

Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health is providing answers to frequently asked questions about wildfire smoke here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/OutdoorAir/SmokeFromFires.aspx

# # #

Friday, October 5, 2012

10/05/12 Wildfire Smoke Forecast 1600 PDT update

No daily posting for Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7, 2012

If you need monitoring information, please check this webpage: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/

 

10-05-12 Air Monitor Update 1600 PDT

Central Region Ecology Air Quality Report  

Chelan County:

Wenatchee- Unhealthy

Leavenworth-  Moderate

Chelan- Moderate

Okanogan County:

Omak - Good

Winthrop – Good

Twisp-   Good

Kittitas County:

Ellensburg- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Yakima County:

Yakima- Good

White Swan- Good

Toppenish- Good

Klickitat County:

Goldendale- Good

Central Washington Air Quality Report from Forest Service Temporary Monitor Locations

Cashmere-  Unhealthy

Cle Elum- Moderate

Entiat- Unhealthy for sensitive Groups

Pateros -Good

Quincy - Good

Trout Lake- Good

Eastern Region Ecology Air Quality Report

Blue Mt. Area
Clarkston  -  moderate
Dayton  -  good
Walla Walla  -  good
Palouse Area
Pullman  -  good
Rosalia  -  offline
LaCrosse  -  good

Northeast
Colville  -  good
Wellpinit  -  good  

Columbia Basin
Kennewick  -  good
Mesa  - good 
Moses Lake  - good
Ritzville  - good 

 Spokane Area
Spokane, - good
Liberty Lake - good

 

 

 

 

 

Another very useful webpage for a grab hourly and 24 hour data, Puget Sound Clean Air and their air quality tool: http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/

10-05-12 Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT

Air Quality forecast, 8AM Friday 5 October 2012
Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Fine Particle monitors this morning show Unhealthy air in Wenatchee and Ellensburg, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in North Bend, and Moderate air in Leavenworth, Darrington, Clarkston, Aberdeen and Shelton. All other monitors are reporting Good air. Data from the USFS temporary monitors have not been reported since Thursday afternoon.
Most areas saw some clearing last afternoon. In western WA haze could be seen overhead but did not mix down to the surface in appreciable amounts. Satellite imagery shows smoke well over Puget Sound, the San Juan islands and the Pacific coast. Smoke from Idaho and Montana wildfires was clipping the extreme southeastern parts of the State. Expect several areas south of  Everett to sense some smoke when the nocturnal inversion breaks this morning. Similar smoke behavior can be expected in and around Shelton, Aberdeen, Longview, Vancouver, Clarkston and Walla Walla. However winds will remain strong enough (in fact
there is a red flag warning for dry east winds across the Cascades and northwestern Olympic Peninsula, as these could accelerate fire growth through Sunday morning), so it is unlikely that air will deteriorate to worse than Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in these areas. Stronger smoke impacts can be expected in communities close to fires however. Night and morning smoke followed by some afternoon clearing can be expected.
Not a whole lot of variation in the forecast over the weekend. Winds are expected to relax a bit further and be mostly terrain driven by Sunday. Mixing heights may reduce a little thanks to the subsidence inversion, but models don’t indicate widespread stagnation. I'd expect to see more yellow areas on the map (aka Moderate air quality) with some orange (Unhealthy for sensitive groups) at locations mentioned above. Areas closest to the fires however could see Unhealthy air.
The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas Counties through noon Friday:
http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert
There continues to be a burn ban east of the Cascade crest. The Governor’s proclamation http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-16.pdf allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.  Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.
Thanks

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Ranil Dhammapala, PhD.
Atmospheric Scientist

Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network Map: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.ltr.aspx

  - when browsing the monitoring web page, click on the dots and you can then click on “View more information” to find out the latest hourly values (even if the dot is grey)

 

 

 

10/05/12 Wildfire Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT

10-05-12 Air Monitor Update 0800 PDT

Central Region Ecology Air Quality Report  

Chelan County:

Wenatchee- Unhealthy

Leavenworth-  Moderate

Chelan- Good

Okanogan County:

Omak - Good

Winthrop – Good

Twisp-   Good

Kittitas County:

Ellensburg- Unhealthy

Yakima County:

Yakima- Good

White Swan- Good

Toppenish- Good

Klickitat County:

Goldendale- Good

Central Washington Air Quality Report from Forest Service Temporary Monitor Locations

no report

Eastern Region Ecology Air Quality Report

Blue Mt. Area
Clarkston  -  moderate
Dayton  -  good
Walla Walla  -  good
Palouse Area
Pullman  -  good
Rosalia  -  offline
LaCrosse  -  good

Northeast
Colville  -  good
Wellpinit  -  good  

Columbia Basin
Kennewick  -  good
Mesa  - good 
Moses Lake  - good
Ritzville  - good 

 Spokane Area
Spokane, - good
Liberty Lake - good

 

 

 

 

 

Another very useful webpage for a grab hourly and 24 hour data, Puget Sound Clean Air and their air quality tool: http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/

10-05-12 Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT

Air Quality forecast, 8AM Friday 5 October 2012
Issued by Ranil Dhammapala, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Fine Particle monitors this morning show Unhealthy air in Wenatchee and Ellensburg, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in North Bend, and Moderate air in Leavenworth, Darrington, Clarkston, Aberdeen and Shelton. All other monitors are reporting Good air. Data from the USFS temporary monitors have not been reported since Thursday afternoon.
Most areas saw some clearing last afternoon. In western WA haze could be seen overhead but did not mix down to the surface in appreciable amounts. Satellite imagery shows smoke well over Puget Sound, the San Juan islands and the Pacific coast. Smoke from Idaho and Montana wildfires was clipping the extreme southeastern parts of the State. Expect several areas south of  Everett to sense some smoke when the nocturnal inversion breaks this morning. Similar smoke behavior can be expected in and around Shelton, Aberdeen, Longview, Vancouver, Clarkston and Walla Walla. However winds will remain strong enough (in fact
there is a red flag warning for dry east winds across the Cascades and northwestern Olympic Peninsula, as these could accelerate fire growth through Sunday morning), so it is unlikely that air will deteriorate to worse than Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in these areas. Stronger smoke impacts can be expected in communities close to fires however. Night and morning smoke followed by some afternoon clearing can be expected.
Not a whole lot of variation in the forecast over the weekend. Winds are expected to relax a bit further and be mostly terrain driven by Sunday. Mixing heights may reduce a little thanks to the subsidence inversion, but models don’t indicate widespread stagnation. I'd expect to see more yellow areas on the map (aka Moderate air quality) with some orange (Unhealthy for sensitive groups) at locations mentioned above. Areas closest to the fires however could see Unhealthy air.
The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Alert for Douglas, Chelan and Kittitas Counties through noon Friday:
http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=otx&wwa=air%20quality%20alert
There continues to be a burn ban east of the Cascade crest. The Governor’s proclamation http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-16.pdf allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.  Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns. In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.
Thanks

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Ranil Dhammapala, PhD.
Atmospheric Scientist

Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network Map: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.ltr.aspx

  - when browsing the monitoring web page, click on the dots and you can then click on “View more information” to find out the latest hourly values (even if the dot is grey)

 

 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10/4/12 Air Quality Burn Advisory for the Colville Reservation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 has issued an Air Quality Burn Advisory on the Colville Reservation.  This advisory will be in effect through Tuesday, October 9th  when the situation will be reassessed. 
 
Currently a wild fire in the Omak area is producing smoke that is impacting the Reservation's air quality.  Monitor readings are showing periods of time when the air quality is in the unhealthy for sensitive groups.  Air quality conditions will vary based on wind direction and speed and dispersion conditions.  

Current weather forecasts for the reservation indicate that night time temperatures will be fairly cool. This means that during overnight hours as well as in the early morning the chance for smoke building to levels that impact health are greater.  It is important to consider this when being involved with outdoor activities. The  EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution and the use of wood stoves and fireplaces, unless it is your only source of heat.

Air pollution can have significant health impacts.  Cooperation from the community will help people who are at risk during this period.  Those most at risk are children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with difficulty breathing and with heart and lung problems.  Those at risk should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible.
Please call 1-800-424-4EPA and ask for the FARR Hotline or visit the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) website for the current burn status at www.epa.gov/r10earth/FARR.htm

Gary Olson
OAWT  Suite 900
EPA Region 10
1200 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206-553-0977

10/04/12 Wildfire Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT

10-04-12 Air Monitor Update 0800 PDT
Central Region Ecology Air Quality Report  
Chelan County:
Wenatchee- Unhealthy
Leavenworth-  Moderate
Chelan-Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Okanogan County:
Omak - Moderate
Winthrop – Moderate
Twisp-   Moderate
Kittitas County:
Ellensburg- Moderate
Yakima County:
Yakima- Good
White Swan- Good
Toppenish- Good
Klickitat County:
Goldendale- Good

Eastern Region Ecology Air Quality Report
Blue Mt. Area
Clarkston  -  unhealthy for sensitive groups
Dayton  -  moderate
Walla Walla  -  good

Palouse Area
Pullman  -  good
Rosalia  -  good
LaCrosse  -  good
Northeast
Colville  -  good
Wellpinit  -  good  
Central Washington Air Quality Report from Forest Service Temporary Monitor Locations
System interruptions, no report
















Eastern cont., Ecology Air Quality Report
Columbia Basin
Kennewick  -  good
Mesa  - good 
Moses Lake  - good
Ritzville  - good 
Spokane Area
Spokane, - good
Liberty Lake - good

Another very useful webpage for a grab hourly and 24 hour data, Puget Sound Clean Air and their air quality tool: http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/
10-04-12 Smoke Forecast 0800 PDT
Air Quality forecast, 6AM Wednesday 4 October 2012 Issued by Clint Bowman, Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Except for a few locations air quality remained good across eastern Washington through the night.  Wenatchee is currently in the unhealthy range; Omak and Clarkston have been high during the night but have dropped in the past few hours.
Winds have decreased in most locations and will be mostly light along the east slopes of the cascades allowing smoke to accumulate. Elsewhere in eastern Washington northerly winds in the Omak area will send smoke south into Quincy where easterly winds will direct it towards the Cascades.  Dispersion will be good each afternoon through Sunday but smoke will likely pool in the usual regions after dark leading to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy air quality.
An apparent interruption of data in the Forest Service smoke monitors precludes computing the WAQA this morning.
Red flag warning for fire growth continues in the extreme southwest WA today. Fire warnings blanket all of western WA through Thursday night, due to dry air, above normal temperatures and windy conditions.

There continues to be a burn ban east of the Cascade crest.  The Governor's proclamation http://www.governor.wa.gov/proclamations/pr_12-16.pdf allows for local fire departments to issue written permits that approve specific burning activities.  Please work with your local fire jurisdiction and your Ecology burn team staff to get the needed written authorization for specific agricultural burns.  In some areas, air quality concerns or local fire danger may preclude burning during this extraordinary wildfire event.

Ecology Air Quality Monitoring Network Map: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.ltr.aspx
  - when browsing the monitoring web page, click on the dots and you can then click on “View more information” to find out the latest hourly values (even if the dot is grey)

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10/3/2012 Smoke and Health Effects

There has been much interest in the health effects from the Wenatchee area wildfires.  Unfortunately there are no absolute answers but some of what is known about smoke and health is described below.  (Another good source of information is found on this page at the link on the upper right called "WA Dept of Health FAQs".) 

Wildfire Smoke and Health
A compilation of recent comments from
Washington Department of Ecology
Senior Toxicologist – Matt Kadlec, PhD, DAPT

·        Long-term effects of the wildfire smoke on people and the environment. 
Most people will recover once air quality is good, and animals and plants have the ability to repair damage from short-term smoke exposure.  Long-term effects are likely to be minimal. The main concern is short-term high exposure effects.  Effects can be minimized by taking certain precautions.  

·        Potential cancer risk. 
There are carcinogenic chemicals in wildfire smoke, but epidemiological research isn't yet sufficient to estimate how much additional risk people may have from the current smoke episode in eastern Washington. 

·        One point about the smoke that is particularly important. 
People should take the smoke seriously and take precautions.  When there are hazardous or unhealthy levels of smoke, people --especially ones that are very young or old and ones that have respiratory or cardiovascular disease-- should: 
·         Go to areas away from hazardous or unhealthy levels of smoke if possible.
·         Use HEPA air cleaners indoors (they can cut PM levels by a third to a half of outdoor levels) and keep vents closed
·         Use properly fitting N95 masks or better
·         Limit physical exertion 

·        How does wildfire smoke compare to cigarette smoke? 
Far more is known about cigarette smoking and in general it's probably not helpful to compare the two.  It's best to stick to the risks of wildfire smoke, as we know them. 

·        What can be said about the possible health effects from the smoke exposures experienced in Wenatchee recently?
Using the air quality measurements taken from 9/10/2012 to 9/20/2012, Wenatchee had daily average PM2.5 values ranging from 24 to 1130 µg/m3 minimum and maximum, respectively. The average was 383 µg/m3.  A population exposed at this average concentration, without taking any precautions, is likely to have much higher than normal rates of certain respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms. If they take no precautions, most people are likely to experience respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing, runny nose, sputum production, or sore throat); some are likely to experience shortness of breath on walking and chest discomfort; and a few are likely to experience heart palpitations. Death is also possible. Relative to when the air quality is good, the rate of physician visits for respiratory diseases is likely to be double; and area hospital emergency departments are likely to see about double the usual number of people for respiratory illnesses and acute cardiovascular events, especially among people with prior diagnosis of respiratory or cardiovascular diseases such as COPD and ischemic heart disease.  It's likely there has been a sharp increase in the number (somewhere between two and 43 times the usual) of emergency department visits for asthma symptoms among people who have the kind that can be triggered by smoke.  People with a prior history of hospitalization for COPD are more likely to have been re-hospitalized for it or to have died when PM2.5 levels exceeded approximately 75 μg/m3.  Adequate precautions can reduce these risks. 

10/3/12 Update: YAKIMA COUNTY BURN BAN CHANGES

1.      The Governor’s Executive Order Burn Ban, issued by Governor Christine Gregoire, remains in effect until at least Sunday, October 7, 2012.  This burn ban is based on “Fire Safety” concerns and prohibits all outdoor burning, including but not limited to:
·        Residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity
·        Campfires
·        Bonfires
·        Ignition of fireworks. in any portion of the State of Washington that is east of the Cascade Range.
  1. Restrictions in Yakima County may differ within the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Reservation, which operates under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR).  For up-to-date information on burning restrictions on the Yakama Reservation, please call 1-800-424-4EPA (1-800-424-4372) and ask for the FARR Hotline or visit the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR) website for the current burn status at www.epa.gov/r10earth/FARR.htm .
  2. For information regarding burning restrictions on federal or state forested lands in Yakima County, to include campfire use, contact the Naches Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
  3. Due to local air quality improvement and considering short-term weather projections, the Stage 2 Burn Ban (an air quality-related curtailment) issued by the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency is removed as of today, Tuesday, October 02, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.  However, YRCAA recognizes and supports the authority of the aforementioned burn bans, which currently do remain in place.

WHAT THIS MEANS:
  1. For all of Washington State which lies east of the Cascade crest, no outside burning is allowed.  This supersedes YRCAA authority to alter.
  2. For all of Yakima County (noting possible exceptions or differences on the Yakama Reservation; state and federal forested lands):
    1. No outside burning is allowed – period.  This includes, but is not limited to, any outdoor burning performed by Agricultural Burn Permit holders or Residential Burn Permit holders.
    2. Woodstoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces, and fireplace inserts may be used for home heating purposes.
AIR QUALITY and HEALTH SAFETY note:
The YRCAA Air Pollution Control Officer respectfully asks all area residents to temporarily restrain from any unnecessary use of wood-fueled heating devices – even if they are allowed – if alternate sources of home heating exist.  He asks for voluntary community cooperation in this until the wildfire episodes are fully contained and the fires are completely extinguished.