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).


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.



Monday, July 8, 2013

7/8/2013 No Significant Air Quality Impacts Expected from Current Wildfires

Two wildfires are currently burning in Washington: the 25 Mile fire near Manson and Lake Chelan, and the Rattlesnake fire 25 miles SE of Keller, WA.  Neither fire is expected to cause significant air quality impacts beyond some very light haze, such as can be seen in the picture below taken near the 25 Mile fire. Some residents in areas very close to the fires could experience some more significant smoke and should take precautions if particularly sensitive.  More on the 25-Mile fire (including areas subject to evacuation) can be found here: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3493/





7/8/2013 Wildfire Season is Here

Summer brings hot days, thunderstorms, and the potential for wildfires. We have already seen a few human-caused fires in Omak, Yakima, and Kennewick. If a large wildfire with serious smoke impacts occurs, we will begin posting smoke and air quality updates to this blog.

In the meantime, the Washington State Department of Health just came out with some new guidance for schools on how to deal with air pollution and wildfire smoke. School’s out for now, but it’s a good idea to review what to do now so you can be ready in the fall. You can find the guidance on the DOH website here: Air Pollution and School Activities

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section and we will answer them.