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).


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10-01-2013 Smoke Blog Now Deactivated

Due to lessening wildfire risk, this Washington Smoke Information Blog has been deactivated.  It will be available again next fire season if needed.  In the meantime, 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/
The goal of this blog is to provide coordinated, timely and public “one-stop information” so that individuals can make informed decisions to protect their health during periods when wildfire smoke is impacting the public.  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.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wildfire Smoke Forecast

Washington State Department of Ecology

3:45 pm PDT Thursday, 22 August 2013

 

Fire facts from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Manastash Ridge WA-OWF-000619. ICT3 (McPhee) 24 mi W of Ellensburg, WA. Start 8/20/2013. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 425 acres (+225). 0% containment. Steep terrain, difficult access. Private property remains threatened. Moderate fire behavior. Area and trail closures are in effect. Previously reported as Manastash.

Government Flats Complex OR-954S-000022. Unified Command. IMT2 ODF (Thorpe/Cline) and OSFM (Ingrao). 10 mi SW of The Dalles, OR. Start 8/16/2013. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 9,600 (+2,875)ac. 15% containment. FEMA declaration on 8/17 at 1200. Active fire behavior. Values at risk include residences, power lines, The Dalles Water Treatment Center and Evans Reservoir. Level 2 evacuations and road closures are in effect. Includes 3 fires: Blackburn 9,305 (+2,875)ac 16%, Government Flats 229ac (+0)ac 100%, Wells 66 (+0)ac 100%.

Eagle WA-OWF-000616. IMT2 (Rabe). 5 mi NE of Leavenworth, WA. Start 8/19/2013. Full Suppression. Grass and timber. Cause under investigation. 790 acres (+490). 10% containment. Active fire behavior. Level 2 and 3 evacuations are in effect. Values at risk include structures, power lines, commercial timber, and T&E species. State Fire Mobilization authorized 8/20.

Conrad Lake WA-OWF-000530. IMT2 (Allbee). 35 mi SW of Naches-S Fork Tieton, WA. Start 8/9/2013. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause lightning. 980 acres (+0). 22% containment. Minimal fire activity. Values at risk include structures, natural and cultural resources. Tentative transition to local unit 8/23.

            For updated "Significant Fire" details, visit InciWeb or the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC) at http://www.nwccweb.us/index.aspx.

 

            AIR QUALITY:

Most communities in Washington have Good air quality.  Several communities along the eastern edge of Washington from Spokane south to Clarkston have Moderate air quality.  Some areas in Yakima county also have Moderate air quality.  The area of biggest concern is the Wenatchee-Leavenworth area where smoke from the Eagle fire has produced Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air quality.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/Default.htm

 

            SMOKE DISPERSION FORECAST:

Wildfire smoke dispersion depends on the stability of the atmosphere and wind speed.  A stable atmosphere reduces the height that a plume will reach and will tend to trap smoke near the ground.  Unstable atmospheres, created by either sunlight warming the ground or moderate wind speeds, rapidly disperse smoke.

            FRIDAY:

The low, currently over northwestern California, will track northeasterly to cross the Central Washington Cascades Friday morning.  In the process, it will open up and lose much of its strength, producing only light amounts of precipitation.  The Haines Index, values greater than four indicate strong convection and possible lightning, drops below three Thursday evening and remains there through the weekend.  The Leavenworth area should see some light precipitation early Friday morning and temperatures should be as much as ten degrees cooler.  Friday morning southwest winds should begin moving smoke northeastward across the Columbia Basin and push away any that intruded from wildfires in Idaho.

Winds along the Columbia are predicted to be westerly and should keep smoke from the Government Flats Complex away from Southern Washington.

            EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

An upper level trough will move in closer to the state from off the coast over the weekend and early next week bringing cooler temperatures and more clouds. Sufficient precipitation is forecasted on Friday and again on Tuesday to reduce the likelihood of additional fire starts from lightning.

That precipitation should also reduce the amount of smoke.  Most areas of the state should return to Good air quality.  Leavenworth may continue to have Moderate air quality because of smoke from the nearby Eagle fire.

            Updated Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) chart

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Air Quality Alert Wenatchee Area 8/20/13

Re:  Smoke in the Air MODERATE in Wenatchee Area


Air quality throughout parts of Chelan and Douglas Counties is presently being impacted by the fire near Leavenworth. Air quality will likely continue to deteriorate.  Smoke is originating from fires near Eagle Creek.  Air quality conditions will also vary greatly between locations.

During these conditions, individuals with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema, the elderly, and children should limit or avoid any outdoor activity.  Sensitive people are advised to remain indoors with windows and doors closed, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants. 

Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea.  Conditions may not adversely affect the general population.  For specific medical advice contact your physician.

More information is available concerning air quality and current fire conditions at the following websites:
Ecology:                     https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/
Forest Service:            http://inciweb.org/
Real-time webcams:   www.wenatcheeworld.com


Friday, August 9, 2013

Wildfire smoke forecast: 9 August 2013

Mostly "Good" air quality expected over the weekend, but...
 
Statewide air quality monitors have been showing Good air quality over the last several days. Though the Colockum Tarps Fire southeast of Wenatchee is the only major active wildfire at present (80,000+ acres, 75% contained) other smaller fires have been reported, mostly on the east slopes of the Cascades. Smoke impacts from these fires are likely to be limited to nearby areas.
 
A low pressure system approaching from the southeast is due to affect our state starting Friday evening into Sunday. A red flag warning for thunderstorms, lightning and possible new fire starts has been issued for areas both east and west of the Cascades. A flash flood watch has also been issued for the east slopes of the Cascades, as rainfall is predicted to increase as the weekend progresses. Areas near burn scars are particularly susceptible to flash floods.
 
While the strong winds accompanying this sort of weather generally helps disperse smoke quite well, it does not rule out smoke impacts close to the fires. There is a possibility that a little smoke from Idahoan wildfires could impact the far eastern parts of the state. By Sunday, models hint that a bit of smoke from wildfires in southwestern Oregon could get dragged over south-central WA.
 
Overall, expect air quality to remain "Good" in most areas through the weekend. A few "Moderate" areas cannot be ruled out.
 
For more information, please contact:
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Ranil Dhammapala, PhD.
Atmospheric Scientist
Washington State Department of Ecology
P.O Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Tel: 360-407-6807
Fax: 360-407-7534
Email: ranil.dhammapala@ecy.wa.gov
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

8/7/2013 EPA Lifts Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation

EPA Lifts Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation
Contact:

Gary Olson, 206-553-0977, olson.gary@epa.gov
Keith Rose, 206-553-1949, rose.keith@epa.gov

(Seattle—August 7,2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has lifted the burn ban on all outdoor burning on the Yakama Reservation. Wildfire smoke that had caused the air quality to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups is under control and the air quality monitor readings are in the more normal range.
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.

NOTES TO MEDIA:
Please repeat this message throughout your broadcasting day and weather portions of your newscast.

  
Gary Olson
EPA R-10
Suite 900 ,AWT-107
1200 6th AVE
Seattle, WA 98101
206-553-0977

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8/6/2013 Burnout operations on Colockum Tarps Fire could increase smoke output

A "burn-out" is a useful tool for gaining control of a wildfire and preventing it from spreading out-of-control.  Firefighters on Colockum Tarps plan to use this technique of controlled use of fire to create buffer areas in the coming days.  This may result in some extra smoke and emissions in the area of the wildfire, especially along the west perimeter.  

Lower humidity optimum for burn-out operations on the 
west perimeter of the Colockum Tarps Fire

Wenatchee, Wash. – Fire managers found a window of opportunity yesterday afternoon to initiate burn-out operations in Division C on the west flank of the Colockum Tarps Fire. Relative humidity dropped enough for a successful test burn. Fire crews then started igniting along prepared, reinforced firelines to remove unburned ground fuels and create a blackened strip. The burned area was patrolled by crews throughout the night.


Today firefighters are expected to continue burnout along the west fire perimeter to create a continuous broad buffer. Once the blackened line area is sufficiently wide and cool, burnout of more interior fuels will proceed using aerial ignition techniques. Aerial ignition uses ping-pong-ball-like spheres filled with chemicals that, once ejected from an aircraft, ignite after hitting the ground. The spheres are spread in pattern intended to burn out large areas yet avoid undue damage. Aerial application is useful for burning out areas too steep or inaccessible for firefighters to safely enter.  Aerial ignition is likely to be implemented within the next 36 hours when the reinforced fireline is ready and weather conditions are right to obtain the intended result.

More details area available here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/3567/19781/

Monday, August 5, 2013

Burn ban stage 1 continues until further notice for Yakima County

Effective: 12:00 p.m. PDT today, Monday, August 5, 2012:

The Pollution Control Officer for the Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency declared a Stage 1 Burn Ban for both the Upper and Lower Yakima County areas last week, due to residual smoke originating from wildfires.

Air quality has improved over the weekend. However, the lower valley still experiencing higher concentration of fine particulates than normal (Moderate).

Because any outdoor burning in the Upper County area can adversely impact the Lower County area, the Stage 1 Burn Ban will continue until further notice in both areas. However, if conditions continue as expected, watch for us to lift the burn ban by Wednesday August 7, 2013.

·       PM2.5 Air Quality levels are into the Moderate (Yellow) level in the Lower County area, and

·       PM2.5 Air Quality levels are into the Good (Green) level for the Upper County area.

·       Agricultural Burn allocation are 0  piles per request for Upper and 0 for the Lower Today.

·       Dispersion for our jurisdiction is Poor to Poor.

·       Ventilation for our jurisdiction is Poor to Poor.

·       Wind speed  ~ North to Northwest at 6 mph, increasing to 10 mph at night.

Please Note:  Restrictions may differ within the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Reservation.  The Yakama Nation is addressing air quality issues in conjunction with the EPA, under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR).  For up-to-date information there, 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 .

 

For further information on wildfires in Washington State,  you can visit the Washington Smoke Blog at http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/

 

Reminder:

 During a Stage 1 Burn Ban:

1.   All Outdoor Burning, including Residential and Agricultural burning, is prohibited;

2.   Although few are using home heating this time of year,

a.   the use of any fireplace, uncertified wood stove or uncertified fireplace insert is prohibited unless it is the only adequate means of heating a home;

b.   No excessive smoke (over 20% opacity) is allowed from any wood burning device beyond a 20-minute start-up; and

3.   All violations of the burn ban are subject to civil penalty.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Hasan Tahat, Ph.D.

Engineering and Planning Division Supervisor

Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency

Tel:  (509) 834-2050 ext. 105

Fax: (509) 834-2060

E-mail:  hasan@yrcaa.org 

 

 

8/5/2013 EPA Continues Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation

EPA Continues Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation

Contact:
Gary Olson, 206-553-0977, olson.gary@epa.gov
Keith Rose, 206-553-1949, rose.keith@epa.gov,

(Seattle, Wash. – August 5, 2013)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 will continue a burn ban on all outdoor burning on the Yakama Reservation through Wednesday, August 7th at 12 PM due to the impact of smoke from wildfires.  This smoke has caused monitor readings to be elevated above levels normally expected for this time of year.   Weather patterns and expectations for control of these wild fires would indicate that conditions for levels to reach unhealthy for sensitive people continues to exist.  Therefore this burn ban will be in place through till Wednesday, August 7th when the situation will be re-evaluated.

 

For further information on wildfires in Washington State,  you can visit the Washington Smoke Blog at http://wasmoke.blogspot.com/

 

The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries.   Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of woodstoves 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

EPA R-10

Suite 900 ,AWT-107

1200 6th AVE

Seattle, WA 98101

206-553-0977

 

Wildfire Smoke Update 8-05-2013



Fire facts from the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center

Colockum Tarps WA-WFS-349. IMT2 (Nickey/Gales). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA.
Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, brush, timber. Cause under investigation.
80,400 acres (+0)ac. 60% containment. WA State Fire mobilization authorized.
Level 1,2 and 3 evacuations. Moderate fire behavior. Natural and cultural resources as well as
wind farm infrastructures remain at risk.

Methow Complex WA-NES-000619. ICT3 (Shank). Near Twisp, WA. Start 7/31/2013.
Full Suppression. Grass, timber. Cause lightning. 50 acres (+0). 50% containment.


Includes; Dry Water 10 ac (+9) 100% containment., Keystone 700 ac 30% containment.,
Keystone North 300 ac. 30% containment. Knox 85 ac (+0) 30% containment., Mclaughlin
Canyon 30 ac. 30% containment., Turtle Lake 25 ac (+24). 0% containment. Updated acreage
 unavailable for individual fires in complex.

Moore Point WA-OWF-000366. ICT3 (Schmidt). 35 mi NW of Chelan, WA. Start 7/28/2013.
Point Zone Protection. Timber. Cause lightning. 1,538 acres (+0). 40% containment. Minimal fire
 behavior. Limited access. No update received.


Mile Marker 28 WA-YAA-000081. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013.
Full Suppression. Timber, brush. Cause under investigation . 27,104 acres (+2). 91% containment.
Minimal fire behavior. Level 1 evacuations. Values at risk include commercial timber, cultural
resources, powerline infrastructure, and T&E species. IMT3 transition 8/6.

Riverside Block Complex WA-NES-000627. ICT3 (Knowlton). Near Riverside, WA. Start
8/01/2013. Full Suppression. Grass, timber. Cause lightning. 1,024 acres. (-576) 90% containment.

Local media updates Ellensburg  Goldendale   Wenatchee
Smoke Forecast The week begins with generally good air quality across the state except for White Swan, Toppenish, and Harrah which continue to have occasional spikes which keep them in the Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups categories.  The Seattle Duwamish monitor is also showing Moderate air quality.  Over the next three days smoke from the fires will generally be pushed northward at the beginning of the period gradually shifting to eastward by Wednesday.  There will also be periods of little movement each day which will allow the smoke to accumulate in the vicinity of the fires.  However the smoke output of all fires in Central Washington is much less than last week as the fire crews gain control.                                                                                                                                                                                                     The longer range outlook maintains dry weather until Thursday when the possibility of convective activity could produce precipitation and lightning.  Last night's model run develops significant precipitation, first along the Cascades but then later in the week across broad portions of Eastern Washington and finally including the Puget Sound lowlands by Saturday.  If the forecast quantity of precipitation verifies, the fires should be reduced to just some smoldering and this smoke episode will conclude by next Monday.

Friday, August 2, 2013

08/02/2013 Wildfire smoke update


Colockum Tarps. IMT2 (Nickey/Gales). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA. Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, 
brush, timber. Cause under investigation. 80,108 acres (+10,108). 30% containment. WA State Fire mobilization
 authorized. Level 3 evacuations. Extreme fire behavior. Natural and cultural resources as well as wind farm 
infrastructures remain at risk.
Mile Marker 28. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013. Full Suppression. Timber, brush. 
Cause under investigation. 26,699 acres (-94). 75% containment. Hwy 97 re-opened. Moderate fire behavior
Level 1 evacuation. Values at risk include commercial timber, cultural resources, power line infrastructure, 
and T&E species.
Moore Point. ICT3 (Schmidt). 35 mi NW of Chelan, WA. Start 7/28/2013. Point Zone Protection. Timber. 
Cause lightning. 1,500 acres (+414). 0% containment. Moderate fire behavior. Limited access. Lakeside cabins 
threatened.

Local media updates Ellensburg  Goldendale   Wenatchee

Smoke Forecast
A record-breaking 1.10 inches of rain fell in Wenatchee yesterday and the radar indicates that some fell far enough south to hit the Colockum Tarps fire.  Rainfall in other areas ranged from a few hundredths of an inch to over three quarters of an inch. We will have to wait until some of the fire reports come in to judge how the fire behavior reacts to the rain. 

As for air quality, smoke dispersion looks good for today, Friday, with winds carrying the smoke rapidly eastward. However, there is a 24-hour period from midday Saturday through early afternoon Sunday when the winds will abate and smoke will likely accumulate near the fires.  If the rain has suppressed the fire activity sufficiently, we could see low smoke plume heights and high ground level smoke concentrations near the fires.  As the wind comes up Sunday evening that accumulated, smoke could drift through nearby communities and cause concentrations in the unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

8/1/2013 8 am Air Quality Alert for Chelan County

Good in Wenatchee

Moderate in Leavenworth

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in Chelan

Nearly everyone likes to spend time outdoors on warm sunny days, but poor air quality can harm people with heart and lung disease. The Air Quality Index for Leavenworth is measuring as “Moderate”.   Chelan is measuring as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups this morning. Conditions will vary throughout our two-county area during the day as the wildfire smoke moves with the prevailing winds.

During these conditions, individuals with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema, the elderly, and children may be affected in the “moderate” air quality areas. 

In the area Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups around Chelan people in those categories should limit outdoor activity, remain indoors with windows and doors closed, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants.  

Air conditioning units should be set on “recycle” mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air.  People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality. 

Members of the general population may also begin to feel adverse affects from poor air quality and should consider following these same precautions.  Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea. 
For specific medical advice please contact your physician.


8/01/2013 Wildfire update


Colockum Tarps WA-WFS-402. IMT2 (Nickey). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA. Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, brush. Cause under investigation. 70,000 acres (+10,684). 25% containment. WA State Fire mobilization authorized. Additional level 3 evacuations added. Extreme fire behavior. Natural and cultural resources as well as wind farm infrastructures remain at risk.

Mile Marker 28 WA-YAA-000081. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013. Full Suppression. Timber, brush. Cause under investigation . 26,793 acres (+4,324). 65% containment. Hwy 97 re-opened. Active fire behavior on north side of the fire. Level 1 evacuations. Values at risk include commercial timber, cultural resources, power line infrastructure, and T&E species.

Moore Point WA-OWF-000366. ICT3 (Schmidt). 35 mi NW of Chelan, WA. Start 7/28/2013. Point Zone Protection. Timber. Cause lightning. 1,086 acres (+836). 0% containment. Moderate fire behavior. Limited access. Lakeside cabins threatened.

Local media updates Ellensburg  Goldendale   Wenatchee
Smoke Forecast
Dry cold front passage last evening led to some modest reductions in smoke levels across much of eastern WA, although levels in many areas have since started creeping up. Some lightning strikes have been reported but we have not yet heard of new fires. There is a red flag warning for more thunderstorms/ lightning strikes/ new fires through late Thursday night, before wetter showers start in areas north of I-90. This will end the threat of new fire starts in the northern parts and perhaps help control some of the existing fires there. But when wet, fires tend to smolder for some time and produce smoke that is not very buoyant.
The risk of new fires remains south of I-90 through Friday. Moderate to strong winds accompanying these weather systems will likely aid smoke dispersion somewhat, but they are also likely to lead to erratic fire behavior.

Incoming weather will also drag some smoke from fires in southwest Oregon, over eastern WA. Impacts from Idahoan fires are not expected over the next two days.
In summary, compared to the past few days most areas in eastern WA can expect to smell a little less smoke today and tomorrow. Air quality should range between Good and Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups in most areas.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31/2013 EPA Continues Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation


Contact:
Gary Olson, 206-553-0977, olson.gary@epa.gov
Keith Rose, 206-553-1949, rose.keith@epa.gov,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 will continue a burn ban on all outdoor burning on the Yakama Reservation through Monday, August 5th at 12 PM due to the impact of smoke from wildfires.  This smoke has caused monitor readings to approach and at time exceed unhealthy levels.  Weather patterns and expectations for control of these wild fires would indicate that conditions will remain about the same through the weekend.  Therefore this burn ban will be in place through till Monday, August 5th when the situation will be re-evaluated.
The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries.   Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of woodstoves 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
EPA R-10
Suite 900 ,AWT-107
1200 6th AVE
Seattle, WA 98101
206-553-0977

7/31/2013 8AM Chelan-Douglas County Health Air Quality Advisory

News Release

For Immediate Release:   July 31, 2013        
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY 
8AM

Moderate in Wenatchee and Leavenworth

Unhealthy in Chelan

Nearly everyone likes to spend time outdoors on warm sunny days, but poor air quality can harm people with heart and lung disease. The Air Quality Index throughout Wenatchee and Leavenworth is measuring as “Moderate”.   Chelan is measuring as Unhealthy this morning. Conditions will vary throughout our two-county area during the day as the wildfire smoke moves with the prevailing winds.

During these conditions, individuals with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema, the elderly, and children may be affected in the “moderate” air quality areas. 

In the Unhealthy area around Chelan people should avoid outdoor activity, remain indoors with windows and doors closed, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants.  
Air conditioning units should be set on “recycle” mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air.  People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality. 

Members of the general population may also begin to feel adverse affects from poor air quality and should consider following these same precautions.  Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea. 

For specific medical advice please contact your physician.

More information is available concerning air quality and current fire conditions at the following websites:
Smoke Blog:                       www.wasmoke.blogspot.com/
Ecology:                               https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/
Forest Service: http://inciweb.org/
Real-time webcams:      www.wenworld.com

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

7/30/13 Burn Ban Stage 1 is called for Upper and Lower Yakima County areas

Please be advised:

Effective: 02:30 p.m. PDT today, Tuesday, July 30, 2013:

Due to poor dispersion and ventilation today and tonight- YRCAA is calling a stage 1 burn ban for both the Upper and Lower Yakima County areas, due to residual smoke originating from wildfires in the Yakima area.

Air quality is expected to be poor over the next few days, as dispersion and ventilation are expected to be poor to fair.  Wind speeds are projected to be variable, averaging 5 to 7 mph. 

However, YRCAA will keep stage one in place until further notice and improvement in air quality due to wildfire.

  • PM2.5 Air Quality levels are into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange) level in the Lower County area, and
  • PM2.5 Air Quality levels are into the Moderate (Yellow) level for the Upper County area
  • Agricultural Burn allocation are 0  piles per request for Upper and 0 for the Lower Today.
  • Dispersion for our jurisdiction is Poor to Fair.
  • Ventilation for our jurisdiction is Poor to Poor.
  • Wind speed  ~ Southeast to Southwest at night 6 to 8 mph increasing at night.


PLEASE NOTE:
  • During Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups (Orange) Air Quality Conditions –
  • People with heart or lung disease, older adults, children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
  • Consult your health care professional if you begin to experience difficulty breathing 
  • Everyone else should try and limit outdoor activity.
  • Consolidate necessary trips

Please Note:  Restrictions may differ within the exterior boundaries of the Yakama Reservation.  The Yakama Nation is addressing air quality issues in conjunction with the EPA, under the Federal Air Rules for Reservations (FARR).  For up-to-date information there, 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 .

Reminder:
  During a Stage 1 Burn Ban:
1.   All Outdoor Burning, including Agricultural burning, is prohibited;
2.   Although few are using home heating this time of year,
     a.   the use of any fireplace, uncertified wood stove or uncertified fireplace         insert is prohibited unless it is the only adequate means of heating a
       home;
     b.   No excessive smoke (over 20% opacity) is allowed from any wood
       burning device beyond a 20-minute start-up; and
3.   All violations of the burn ban are subject to civil penalty.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Hasan Tahat, Ph.D.
Engineering and Planning Division Supervisor
Yakima Regional Clean Air Agency
Tel:  (509) 834-2050 ext. 105
Fax: (509) 834-2060
E-mail:  hasan@yrcaa.org 

7/30/2013 Large Fire Update for Central WA

Fire Facts: Coluckum Tarps – 12 miles SE of Wenatchee, Washington; 42,600 acres, 5% containment. This fire is burning in grass and brush, cause is under investigation. Evacuations remain in effect. Natural and cultural resources as well as wind farm infrastructure remain at risk. State Mobilization authorized.

Mile Marker 28 – 15 miles NE of Goldendale, Washington; 22,469 acres, 40% containment. This fire is burning in brush and timber, cause is unknown. Hwy 97 remains closed. Evacuations on southern portion of the fire have been lifted. Natural and cultural resources remain at risk. State Mobilization will end today

Local media updates: Goldendale area Wenatchee area:

Smoke Forecast: High levels of smoke are expected to continue close to the fires, particularly in the afternoon and at night. Some clearing is expected in and around the Columbia Basin this afternoon, but air may degrade to moderate or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups at night.

A series of weather systems approach from Wednesday onward. The approaching low pressure systems and resulting east winds in eastern Washington will drag in some smoke from Idahoan wildfires on Wednesday. The smoke is likely to impact the Lewis-Clark Valley, and possibly Walla Walla. East winds could also drive some smoke from WA wildfires close to the Cascade crest and westward through the Columbia River Gorge.

Wednesday’s weather systems carry the risk of dry lightning and potential fire starts, but then bring what could be significant, fire-dousing rainfall to the east slopes of the Washington Cascades on Thursday. Talk about mixed blessings! Good clearing is expected on Thursday, so hopefully we’ll start the day on Friday with Good air quality everywhere.


7/30/2013 Washington Large Fire Update Report excerpt from WSP - Fire Protection Bureau

Coluckum Tarps – 12 miles SE of Wenatchee, Washington; 42,600 acres, 5% containment
This fire is burning in grass and brush, cause is under investigation.  Evacuations remain in effect.  Natural and cultural resources as well as wind farm infrastructure remain at risk.  State Mobilization authorized.

Mile Marker 28 – 15 miles NE of Goldendale, Washington; 22,469 acres, 40% containment
This fire is burning in brush and timber, cause is unknown.  Hwy 97 remains closed.  Evacuations on southern portion of the fire have been lifted.  Natural and cultural resources remain at risk.  State Mobilization will end today.

Weather Watches and Warnings:
Hazardous Weather Outlook for Central, South, South Central and Southeast Washington for Wednesday through Monday.  Scattered thunderstorms are possible Wednesday and Thursday as a mid/upper-level trough offshore brings mid-level moisture and elevated instability into the region.  Daytime surface heating will trigger thunderstorms both days over the mountains with storms moving north toward lower terrain by late Wednesday afternoon into the evening.

Weather Synopsis:
Southerly flow of moist and unstable air will increase region-wide over the next couple of days in response to a low pressure system deepening off the coast.  The low will move inland Thursday night and gradually weaken over the weekend.  Thunderstorms and showers will accompany this weather system in most, if not all, predictive service areas.  Thunderstorms will start out as a mixture of dry and wet, ultimately becoming wet by Thursday night or Friday.  Widespread wetting showers are likely on through the weekend in Washington and maybe northern portions of Oregon.

Large Fire Potential:
Light lightning caused Initial Attack (IA) likely to begin as early as this evening in SW Oregon with moderate levels of IA expected on Wednesday and Thursday across most of the region.  Two to six new large fires are certainly a possibility in the Wednesday/Thursday timeframe.


7/30/2013 Chelan/Douglas County Health District News Release- Air Quality Advisory

News Release

For Immediate Release:   July 30, 2013        
  
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY

 Unhealthy for Sensitive Populations

 Nearly everyone likes to spend time outdoors on warm sunny days, but poor air quality can harm people with heart and lung disease. The Air Quality Index throughout the Wenatchee area is measuring as “Unhealthy for Sensitive Populations”.   Conditions will vary throughout our two-county area as the wildfire smoke moves through the area with the prevailing winds.

During these conditions, individuals with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema, the elderly, and children should avoid outdoor activity, remain indoors with windows and doors closed, avoid excessive exertion, and avoid exposure to tobacco smoke or other respiratory irritants. 

Air conditioning units should be set on “recycle” mode to reduce introduction of contaminated outdoor air.  People without air conditioning need to take precautions against heat stress and should consider temporarily relocating to an area with better air quality. 

Members of the general population may also begin to feel adverse affects from poor air quality and should consider following these same precautions.  Adverse symptoms may include dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, excessive phlegm, and nausea.  For specific medical advice please contact your physician.

More information is available concerning air quality and current fire conditions at the following websites:

Ecology:                               https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/enviwa/

Forest Service: http://inciweb.org/

Real-time webcams:      www.wenworld.com


Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29/2013 EPA Continues Burn Ban for Yakama Reservation

(Seattle, Wash. – July 29,2013)  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 will continue a burn ban on all outdoor burning on the Yakama Reservation through Wednesday, July 31st at 12 PM due to the impact of smoke from wildfires.  This smoke has caused monitor readings to approach and at time exceed the unhealthy level for sensitive groups. Weather patterns and expectations for control of these wild fires would indicate that conditions will remain about the same through Wednesday.  Therefore this burn ban will be in place through till Wednesday, July 31st  when the situation will be re-evaluated.
The burn ban applies to all outdoor and agricultural burning, including camping and recreational fires within reservation boundaries.   Ceremonial and traditional fires are exempt from the outdoor burn ban.

EPA also requests that reservation residents reduce all sources of air pollution, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of woodstoves 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
EPA R-10
Suite 900 ,AWT-107
1200 6th AVE
Seattle, WA 98101
206-553-0977

7/29/2013 Large Fire Update for Central WA

In Central Washington, we have two large fires and several small fires.  The large fires are named Colockum Tarps: located 12 miles SE of Wenatchee and Mile Marker 28: 15 miles NE of Goldendale.  Please select the linked tabs on this blog to find current information.  We are watching these fires closely for large scale smoke impacts to nearby communities.

The satellite image below (taken on Sunday afternoon) clearly shows how smoke is drifting across the Columbia Basin in eastern Washington. Much of this smoke remains aloft at this time, although some of the air quality monitors are picking up occasional spikes of ground level smoke.

Smoke forecast: Expect high levels of smoke close to the fires, particularly in the afternoon hours. Nighttime drainage flows can also cause smoke to pool in nearby valleys. Further downwind, smoke impacts will occur mostly during the night, with some daytime clearing. Expect air quality in several areas be Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, except closer to the fires where things could be worse. Although several wildfires are burning in Oregon and Idaho, we don’t expect significant smoke impacts from them at this time.
The possibility of thunderstorms and potentially wetter weather later in the week carries the risk of more lightning-caused wildfires, while also alleviating fire/ smoke spread.

Local media updates: Goldendale area  Wenatchee area:

Fire Facts- Colockum Tarps WA-WFS-402. IMT2 (Nickey). 12 mi SE of Wenatchee, WA. Start 7/27,2013. Full Suppression. Grass, brush. Cause unknown. 7,000 acres (+6,000). 0% containment. WA State Fire mobilization authorized. Evacuations in effect. Type 2 WA Team 4 (Nickey) transitioning in. Active fire behavior.

Mile Marker 28 WA-YAA-000081. IMT2 (Rabe). 15 mi NE of Goldendale, WA. Start 7/24/2013. Full Suppression. Timber, brush. Cause Unknown. 17,171 acres (+8,215). 25% containment. Hwy 97 remains closed. Active fire behavior. Level 2 and 3 evacuation notifications have been issued on southern perimeter. WA Fire Marshal Office fire mobilization authorized 7/26.