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, August 2, 2017

Smoke is getting cozy here. It blanketed us and plans to stay

Air quality degraded much faster than expected yesterday as the BC wildfire smoke blanketed the state. Here's a progression of satellite pictures taken last afternoon, evening and this morning. Only the high peaks of the Olympics and Cascades are able to stay above the smoke layer.

And a great timelapse from Greg Johnson, looking north from the Kitsap peninsula:


Air quality in Washington is among the worst in the country- hardly any communities with Good air. Not good!

So when will things clear out? Short answer: not fast enough.

A strong high pressure system is anchored over the state and is expected to remain well into next week. This will give us warm temperatures, abundant (smoke- filtered) sunshine, north/northeast winds in western WA, and north/ east winds in eastern WA. Crucially, no substantial west/ southwest winds on the horizon to flush out smoke.

So sadly statewide air quality is expected to vary between Moderate to Unhealthy at different times for the next several days. Instances of Very Unhealthy air cannot be ruled out. Slight improvements can be expected during the daytime, poor air at night.

As always please pay attention to the health warnings and precautions listed on our blog page.


  1. I live is South Eastern Washington and I woke up to not being able to see the Blue Mountains to the East of me or the Oregon hills to the south of me. Smoke is so thick.

  2. Thanks for posting these satellite pictures of the smoke! They are by far the best images of the smoke I have seen. I have tried to find the URL (by Googling RAMMB etc) to see these directly, be able to look at them in the future, etc but haven't been able to find it. Can you provide that URL? Thanks.

    1. Sure. See http://rammb-slider.cira.colostate.edu.

  3. Which direction and how far do we have to go to get away from it?

  4. Thanks so much for this. Was trying to plan backpack trip and thought S. Cascades might be the ticket. Looks like not so much!

  5. Is there no sense of when it might end? Just sit and wait until westerly winds appear in the forecast?

  6. Sorry for the delay in responding. Your local emergency management office or public health department may have public shelters available depending on your location. Check the Local Gov tab above for your county. If you do not see your county search for it online or respond to this message.

    Check out the latest blog post above, if you haven't already. The forecast from the National Weather Service shows that much of the smoke could be leaving us Saturday.


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