Some smoke from California that came in off the coast has been traveling over our state today, but hasn't been a concern for surface air quality. The big story has been the Evans Canyon fire, which has burned 70,000 acres and is being fought by every resource available. Dozers, hand crews and engine crews are working hard on perimeter control and constructing lines to stop fire spread from reaching valley communities. Smoke has been causing Moderate to Unhealthy air in communities around Yakima and will continue to do so. Washington State Department of Ecology issued an Air Quality Alert for the region through the long weekend.Evans Canyon Fire Active Fire Locations (Sept 4 Terra MODIS Image)
When the air quality deteriorates, it's important to take actions to protect your health, especially with the overlap of COVID-19. Breathing in smoke may worsen symptoms for those with COVID-19 or make your more likely to get a respiratory infection, like COVID-19. For more information visit the health tab or the WA Dept of Health Smoke from Fires website.
Smoke from the P-515 and Lionshead fires in Oregon can be seen traveling towards Klickitat county in today's GOES imagery. Smoke from these fires could cause Moderate conditions along the Columbia river through tomorrow and potentially impact Benton and Walla Walla counties with some short-lived smoke.
A strong cold front is forecast to push through the region on Monday resulting in much cooler temperatures and strong north to northeast winds across the Columbia Basin. Another warming trend will begin by midweek and could continue through next weekend.
This weekend is critical for limiting new fire starts. Many people will be hiking and camping in wildlands and burn bans must be observed. High winds and hot temperatures will cause fires to grow quickly. Please do your part to keep fires from starting.