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, August 8, 2017

8/8/2017 Canadian fires still raging. No end in sight yet.

Fires in British Columbia are still active and showing very little sign of abating. As of today (Tuesday Aug. 8) there are 131 active fires in British Columbia. So far in 2017, 1,427,170 acres have burned in BC; their 10 year average acreage per year (2006-2016) is 382,875 acres so they are certainly experiencing a very extreme wildfire year and it's far from over. The six most significant and threatening of the BC fires are listed in the table below and the current perimeters of active fires in BC are shown on the map.

British Columbia Priority Wildfires
Name of Fire/Complex
Size (Ac.)

Elephant Hill (K20637)

About 115 miles north of US/Canada border above Ross Lake. About 85 miles W/NW of Kamloops; near Ashcroft. 30% contained.
West Quesnel Complex
About 275 miles north of the US/Canada border above Blaine, WA. 0% contained. 109 firefighters, 11 helicopters, 22 heavy equipment. Evacuation Order is in effect.
Central Cariboo Command
Fires from 0 to 40 % contained.
Hanceville Complex

Puntzi complex

Tautri Complex

A wildfire smoke dispersion model developed by the Canadians has been performing reasonably well to predict where the smoke from fires in Canada and the US will go. The modeled predictions for yesterday, today, and tomorrow at 5pm are shown below. Yesterday is shown for comparison so what you experienced in your location yesterday can be compared to the prediction for today and tomorrow. Many areas of Washington look pretty similar so no immediate change in the weather is expected to flush out the smoke. Remember this output is from a computer system that is trying to estimate fire size and growth plus meteorology so it will never be exactly correct. You can view the animations from the model at this link: https://weather.gc.ca/firework/firework_anim_e.html?type=em&utc=00


  1. When is it going to clear up? No one is answering this question. This super frustrating. I don't need to keep reading the same thing over and over. Tell me when it is projected to be cleared.

  2. Longer term projections are prone to more uncertainty, so no one knows the answer for sure. Weather isnt doing enough to blow the smoke away in the next few days. Thats the forecast, unfortunately.

  3. What's the flight min ceiling on aircrafts?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. I can point you to two resources, which should get you a rough idea: Scroll down to the section on "More Soundings" at http://www.atmos.washington.edu/marka/pnw.html and click on a location to see the timeheights. And secondly, go to http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/grayskies/nw_weather.html, make a plot and click on the graphic after it displays. It will show you a table of the raw data, including the Cloud Heights ("Cht", in 100's of feet).

      The "Aviation" section of the National Weather Service Forecast Discussions often carry the min ceilings reported by pilots.

      Also, see https://www.aviationweather.gov/cva/plot?region=lws

  4. Would you say generally most coastal cities will have much better air quality due to swifter air current? Thanks

    1. Fresher, cleaner marine air has been flowing onshore over the last few days but not making it very far inland.


We encourage your questions, comments and feedback and ask that everyone be respectful of others opinions and avoid comments that are defamatory, inappropriate or off-topic.