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).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Air Quality Forecast, Friday 18 July 2014

The Carlton Complex wildfire rapidly grew to over 160,000 acres. It prompted evacuations and serious fire damage in the Methow Valley, Pateros and Brewster. The Mills Canyon Complex wildfire also grew and together caused worse air quality than initially predicted. Breezy conditions today have helped dissipate a little smoke but they also reduce plume rise and transport smoke longer distances. As of 3PM on Friday, Leavenworth recorded Unhealthy air while Wenatchee, Omak, Colville and several Spokane area sites were all showing “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”. The Twisp and Winthrop monitors are offline because much of the Methow Valley has lost power.
Breezy conditions are set to continue through Sunday as the winds turn more westerly. Some rain is possible in the Cascades on Sunday but may not reach the fires. Smoke is expected to continue blowing across eastern Washington, with cities close to the fires likely seeing Unhealthy or even Very Unhealthy air. Other areas across the Columbia Basin, mostly east of a line from Ellensburg to Richland are likely to see periodic smoke between now and Monday, leading to air quality that is “Moderate” or “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.
Light southwesterly winds on Monday- Tuesday could bring some smoke from wildfires in Oregon to southeastern Washington. The northern Columbia Basin might experience a little relief from smoke. There is a good possibility of rain on Tuesday- Wednesday, but it also comes with the risk of lightning and gusty winds, which can aggravate wildfires.
Unless there are new wildfires, air quality in south central and western Washington should continue to remain Good during this time.
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


  1. Is it possible- during high fire incidence times- to post AQ #s more often than every 3 hours?
    just a thought.
    Jeff in Moscow

  2. Hello Jeff, thanks for your comment. Unless a monitor is down or the telemetery system is malfunctioning, Air Quality data are updated hourly. You might not always see a noticeable difference in the AQI color category (i.e. Green, Yellow, Organge...) of a given monitor from hour to hour unless there is a drastic change in measured air quality within that time.
    Also, the AQI calculation (complicated formula) requires that a sharp change in PM2.5 concentrations to persist for a few hours before it significantly alters the AQI. So there might be a semblance of a "delayed reaction" in the color codes.
    Please contact me at the address above if you have any more questions. Thanks!


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