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).

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Kittias and Yakima county getting hammered with smoke; little improvement expected before Monday

Unfortunately several cities in Yakima and Kittitas counties got slammed with a lot more smoke than expected today. Conditions in Cle Elum and Toppenish were Very Unhealthy this morning, leading to the cancellation of some sporting events.

A colleague sent in this picture of haze-laden skies in Yakima.

Sections of plumes from the Norse Peak appear to have combined with the Jolly Mountain fire plumes and smoked out the Kittitas and Yakima valleys, as seen in this satellite loop. Not much wind in the forecast today & tomorrow to disperse the smoke, so brace for more of the same, namely mostly Unhealthy air throughout most of Kittitas and Yakima counties through Sunday night. Periods of Very Unhealthy or even Hazardous conditions cannot be ruled out. Things should start to improve by Monday morning as northeast winds pick up a little.

Also notice this morning's MODIS satellite image showing Oregon plumes making a two-pronged approach toward southwest and southeast WA, the former using the Pacific route. 

Smoke in the southeastern WA plume could hit the Lewis- Clark valley, Walla Walla and the Tri Cities later today, leading to air that is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups between now and Sunday evening.

While the Pacific smoke patch isnt much of threat right now, it is a little harder to predict- will have to wait for the smoke models to run on Sunday morning before we know.

Rest of the forecast issued yesterday is mostly on track.


  1. There are no air quality monitors showing up in the above map for Yakima, which is pretty surprising considering we have some pretty awful air conditions here. Where can we go to get the best long term forecast for air conditions for Yakima?

    1. They are reporting and visible on the map. The page may have just taken a while to load. Be patient with it, as there are a lot of users currently. If it doesn’t load you can also find air quality on https://airnow.gov.

  2. I appreciate the work that has gone into creating the PNW Smoke site and all the maps. It would be even more helpful if readers could see a legend for the PNW Smoke Map that explains the differences between the several icons used to show each fire.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately we're limited to the design of the map and the amount of information available on the icons. If you're looking form more information about the fires themselves you can go to the Where's the Fire Tab and look on Maps and Satellite portion of NWCC Map: map:https://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/firemap.aspx
      Click on the fire icons and there will be a link to info on each fire.

    2. Also the fire icons are the locations of the fires as detected by the satellite and the colored circles and triangles are the air monitor locations showing current air quality conditions color coded to the AQI. Info on the AQI colors can be found under the Air Quality Now tab under the link Meaning of the Color Coded Dots.


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