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).

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Smoke monster overran Washington but mother nature is fighting back

Wildfire smoke has just swamped us like never before. Here's the satellite picture from Wednesday afternoon:

Don't recall a time when every fine particle monitor in the state recorded poor air for a whole day. Here's how the 24-hr average air quality conditions looked on Wednesday.

Red = Unhealthy, Orange = Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and Yellow = Moderate.

Zoom out and overlay the smoke layer- wow! In an ironic twist, you can actually go to Los Angeles and breathe easier than in Washington's remote locations!

Not all doom and gloom though. Some models are advertising a shot of northwesterly air this evening and night, which will bring a little relief to western Washington that is so unaccustomed to being overrun by what Prof. Cliff Mass terms "Smokezilla". If this scenario pans out, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few locations from Seattle northward recording Good air overnight. Less pronounced further south, so expect Moderate or Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups overnight.

Winds are expected to pick up a little across the state on Friday. This will both fan the flames (red flag warnings galore) and blow away some smoke. Further improvements are likely in western WA although central and southeast WA are likely to get hit by a mixture of Montana and BC smoke at different times. But lighter winds return over the weekend, which will cause residual smoke to linger. Hard to tell if there will be a fresh infusion of BC wildfire smoke into western WA, but eastern WA will definitely get another dose. More details as the situation evolves.

Please pay attention to avoiding exposure to smoke by minimizing strenuous outdoor activities. Use discretion when opening windows at night to beat the heat, because this also brings poor air indoors.


  1. Those of us on oxygen are suffering. Cannot go outside at all. Running Air conditioning 24/7. Electric bill will be very high. Eastern Washington, Chewelah.

  2. I live in graham washington. We are a family of 5 including 3 young children. Would you say the air in my area is bad enough to flee and would recommend I drive to Enumclaw and we stay at my inlaws? As they at least have a/c.

    1. You can always explore the other tabs for information on smoke and health as well as the Local Gov tab for the emergency management office for your county. Some places may have temporary shelters set up for local people. If you do not see your county listed try a web search for "emergency management" and your county. Sorry for the delay in responding.


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