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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Smoke Alert!

There is a super-massive body of smoke moving over Southwestern Washington.  This smoke from Oregon and California is expected to impact Western Washington, the Columbia Basin, and even Spokane as it moves overhead.  Not much smoke has mixed down to the surface yet, but smoke forecasts show Unhealthy or worse levels starting tonight on the Peninsula and then through the I-5 Corridor. The Columbia River Gorge region is expected to be Unhealthy or worse tomorrow morning.  Smoke continues to be a problem in Central Washington and in the north Cascades as well because of our own fires.  Look for a more detailed forecast this afternoon.

    GOES Image (Sept 10, 9 am)


 

EPA Map of Air Quality, Smoke, and Fire Locations (Sept 10, 9 am)


276 comments:

  1. News outlets aren’t yet reporting this super-massive and totally unhealthy smoke cloud moving our way from the south. My questions are- at what point should we be worried about how bad this is going to be?
    Any idea how long it might last?

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    1. Smoke coordination meetings are currently underway. Please stay tuned for a more detailed forecast later today on this blog.

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    2. Hi there: We published this story on KUOW this morning based on NWS meteorologist: https://kuow.org/stories/offshore-winds-could-bring-more-wildfire-smoke-back-to-seattle-area

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    3. Hello everyone...
      How bad situation be in Mill Creek, and what is the prognosis for how long?! Please can you give us any instruction...what do we need to do to be safe?!
      Do we have a risk for start new fire around?!
      Thank you... And God bless and save all of us!

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    4. Please see the clickable AQ monitoring data map at the top of this blog for current conditions. Its Moderate in that area now but we expect periods of Unhealthy or worse air, through the weekend. Given the heat (partially offset by a dense layer of smoke aloft) there is a risk of new fires but the winds arent as strong and some cooling is expected. But those very winds also bring in lots of OR smoke.

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    5. Will the Olympia area be affected? And my grandmother lives on the long beach peninsula. How bad will it be there? She's definitely in the sensitive group.

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    6. Yes it's already Moderate in Olympia. Expect Unhealthy air tonight and tomorrow.

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    7. The Coastline might not be as bad with most smoke overhead. But smoke will still be around.

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  2. Will the I-5 corridor from Seattle northward have good visibility for driving on Friday?

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  3. Ok, this does not sound good at all. If we are to escape polluted air - which direction should we move? Assuming driving.

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    1. While this is not something you can outrun, parts of northwest WA (not the Olympic peninsula) might get off a little lightly. A combination of N95 masks, HEPA filters, air purifiers and clean air rooms is probably what will work best.

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  4. Thank you so very much for this blog!! Will Whidbey Island also be consumed by this mass of smoke?

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    1. Not as bad, but not smoke free. Brace for Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

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  5. How bad is it suppose to get near the Grays Harbor area?

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    1. Yes, it already is overhead and will likely mix down. How much is the wildcard. Best to prepare for Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups air

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  6. Will this move as high as the Neah bay area by Friday/Saturday/Sunday?

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    1. Yes its inching its way there. Expect smoke on Friday and gradual clearing on Saturday

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  7. Is it okay to run air conditioners with all the smoke outside? Just want to keep our house safe and cool.

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  8. Bad idea to go backpacking in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area this weekend, north of Snoqualmie Pass?

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    1. Probably not the best idea because you could be right on the edge of where the worst smoke will be. A small shift and it might not be pretty at all

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    2. With the high temperature and unpredictable winds, safe to not go.

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  9. When will this be expected to move over the Puget Sound? I heard that by the end of the weekend westerly Pacific winds will clear smoke out of the Puget Sound.

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    1. Its already over the south sound and inching northward, but mostly staying aloft. That will start to change tonight into tomorrow. The air that the westerly Pacific winds will bring is laden with smoke from OR fires.

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    2. We are in the west Port Angeles area, anyone else concerned here?

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  10. is this forecasted blow all the way up through Bellingham/Whatcom County?

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    1. Not as much, but not smoke free. Brace for Moderate to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

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  11. Will the the Goat Rocks Wilderness area of Gifford Pinchot be affected by the smoke/fires? Would it be advised to no backpack in this area this upcoming weekend?

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    1. Not advisable. Very close to a large fire and a massive pool of OR smoke

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  12. I’m hoping if evacuations become necessary in cities across Wa, that we’re actually informed - how? - which roads are open etc. Thank you. Guess keeping a full tank of gas is good idea.

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    1. Please check with the Dept of Transportation and the Emergency Management Division

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  13. Any thoughts specific to Chelan area? It appears crews are getting the Apple Acres fire under control, but wondering if this new smoke will potentially be problematic that far East?

    Thanks for all you do!

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    1. Yes the smoke will certainly cross the Columbia Basin but the Chelan area might be slightly shielded from it.

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  14. So will Spokane valley get effected as bad? And if so when do you think it would happen?

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  15. Hello, thank you so much for the information on this blog and responding to peoples questions. Can you provide anymore insight into the the air quality in the Deception Pass area? I have a camping reservation for Sunday 8/13-8/16 and am trying to decide if the smoke will have dissipated enough by then. I will continue to monitor the situation until the decision has to be made (Saturday morning) but if you are able to provide and additional information about that area it would be greatly appreciate. Thanks again!

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    1. NW WA is the one area not projected to see the worst of the smoke (will still see some smoke though), so delaying a decision to Saturday AM is a good idea.

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  16. How far south will this be? We are in north Clark county..

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    1. All the way to California, as shown in satellite picture.

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  17. Will it be unhealthy for sensitive people in the far North Olympic peninsula by Port Angeles and Sequim? Thank you for this!

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    1. Yes, very likely. Please take steps outlined on other pages of this blog to safeguard your health

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  18. For Seattle/Bellevue - how bad is it going to be compared to this Monday night smoke? Same or worse?

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  19. Will Fox Island air quality be unhealthy,and also Port Townsend

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  20. How long do you expect this to last?

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    1. At least through the weekend. Please check back here regularly

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  21. Is there a good tool we can use to monitor and predict smoke trends ourselves? I've looked at https://fire.airnow.gov for the current state but I'd like something that helps me plan into the future a bit.

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    1. Forecasting requires the interpretation of multiple feeds of data and there is no single tool to do that. See the tab on "Monitoring and Forecasting" at the top of this blog for more details.

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  22. Hi There! Sorry for another "what about here" question but I've had a cabin reserved in Deming WA/West side of Baker since July. Only trip I'm taking all year. Is it going to be just as bad there? :(

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    1. NW WA is the one area not projected to see the worst of the smoke (will still see some smoke though)

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    2. This is great to hear! Thank you so much!

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  23. Is this worst of this smoke layer expected to hit the Renton area?

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    1. Not the worst of it, but there will likely be a good amount present

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  24. Will Northern Idaho/Western Montana also be impacted?

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  25. I ride a bike too work will i be ok. I ride about 4 miles in 25-30 minutes

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    1. Minimize outdoor exposure during periods of smoke. Use the AQ map above to check for updated local conditions

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  26. Sorry to ask another what about here, but we have reservations at an Airbnb in Hansville, just past Poulsbo for Saturday. Any chance the smoke will miss this area or should we consider canceling?

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    1. To cancel or not is a personal decision but the smoke will not miss the area. See the forecast map at https://enviwa.ecology.wa.gov/home/text/421

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  27. Will this also hit Moses Lake and Othello , Wa in the Columbia Basin?

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  28. Will Vashon Island have harmful levels?

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  29. How about Lake Stevens area - I have very brittle asthma.

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    1. Expect poor air and minimize your exposure. See the steps you can take, at the top of this blog

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  30. Recommend sharing on your social media pages. I'm remote north of Battle Ground Lake area it's suffocating. Seems once the high winds stopped the smoke rolled in and is stagnant.
    Be safe common sense and know you cannot outrun a fire.

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  31. Hi - We were planning to hike from lake ozette to yellow banks this weekend. Is this supposed to reach all the way up there?

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  32. Replies
    1. Cowlitz will probably get very smoky tonight... there's already smoke in the air.

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  33. Another what about question... Mosseyrock area Friday and Saturday?

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  34. Any thoughts about the forecast link you provided and their interpretation of the Brinnon area as “moderate” while adjacent areas are “unhealthy”? I might camp in a “moderate” area but not in an “unhealthy” one.

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  35. We were also planning to hike the Goat Rocks area on Friday. Now, having second thoughts. Wondering if the High Divide, Seven Lakes Basin, out of Sol Duc, Olympic NP, would be a better choice? Thanks so much.

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    1. Higher terrain on the Olympic Peninsula will likely see smoke too

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  36. Ugh sorry to pile on.... I am supposed to leave for Forks to stay in a cabin tomorrow for the weekend. Should I cancel?

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    1. Forks is far enough north it might not be awful. Plan for USG though.

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  37. We have window a/c units that don’t offer a recirculate mode. Our house in North Seattle is already very hot! Can we run the a/c now when the air quality appears to be “moderate”? Hoping to cool it down a bit before it gets even worse.

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    1. OK for a short time. It should cool down a bit tonight and AQ should still be Moderate

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  38. What about here in Puyallup Valley? It was almost unbearable early this week, need to know if I should head north.

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  39. Do we have information or speculation regarding smoke forecast in Yakima and Lower Yakima valley?

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    1. Smoke models show Moderate to USG in Yakima until tomorrow night, then it gets Unhealthy or worse.

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  40. Is The Enchantments area impacted on Saturday?

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    1. The high elevation may save you, but plan for smoke all along the Cascades tomorrow and Saturday.

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  41. Is richland wa going to be affected by this weekend's smoke?

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    1. I would expect smoke moving through the Gorge to have some impact on Richland tomorrow afternoon. And it looks like you are already getting some modest impacts from Central/Eastern WA fires.

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  42. Generally how long can we expect it to stay in the Seattle area? Can we expect orange skies like we've seen in California and Oregon?

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    1. Expect the orange skies over Seattle through most of the weekend

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  43. Been checking the forecasts for our camping trip at Lake Easton this weekend... not much info. Can you clarify?

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    1. Smoke forecast shows decent air quality till tomorrow. Getting worse throughout the day and Unhealthy or worse through the night into Saturday.

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  44. Is “super-massive” a scientifically quantifiable term?

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  45. I am located in Edgewood. Will it be bad here? I have several medical ailments that can definitely make things very bad for me and I have appointments tomorrow. I would like to kind of prepare for what it might be like.

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  46. Will Ocean Shores get hit hard with the smoke? We have a trip planned for the weekend to escape the city smoke and now we’re wondering if we should cancel

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    1. The coast might not be as bad, with smoke more aloft. But plan for smoky conditions. Saturday will likely be worse in the metro areas than on the coast, at least for surface air quality.

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    2. I dont know how to adk a question so im throwing this out as a reply but i need advice. Longview Washington my dad is 81 he has copd. Do i move him to cleaner air or just stay in??

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  47. What about fly out of SeaTac tomorrow noon to Boise. Will air travel be affected

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    1. Currently there are no travel restrictions. Smoke is mainly aloft. Though, if smoke limits visibility enough... travel will be delayed. Perhaps the Seattle NWS AFD Aviation section is something to watch. https://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.php?new&prod=XXXAFDSEW&wfo=sew

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  48. Just received an alert for Whitman county is that as far reaching as the Palouse?

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  49. What about Ross Lake? We are scheduled to boat into a campsite on the East Bank tomorrow.

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    1. Expect Moderate air with periods of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

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  50. I was curious if Renton will see this smoke.

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  51. I'm pretty confused. The air quality is already ranked unhealthy, so is it going to be ranked worse tomorrow or the same??

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    1. Without a location... it's tough to say. But, if your air is already Unhealthy, don't expect it to get better anytime soon.

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  52. Is this going to turn our skies red like I have seen In California and oregon? I'm trying to prepare my young children so they won't be scared.

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    1. Tough to say without knowing your location. Skies are already hazy and the more smoke there is, the less short-wave light can penetrate it. The long-wave light gets through (red being longer than blue).

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  53. Any idea how the San Juan’s will be?

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    1. Tomorrow afternoon probably won't be good. But not as bad as further south and inland. Somewhat intermittent in San Juan. Sunday is anyone's guess at this point.

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  54. We are supposed to go to Leavenworth tomorrow- do you know if this area is predicted to be heavily impacted? Thank you!!

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  55. How bad is smoke levels supposed to be in the puyallup area and when shall we expect the worst of it?

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    1. Expect strong smoke impacts early tomorrow morning and through the day into Saturday. Prepare for Unhealthy or worse.

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  56. I live in Sequim, WA I have very severe lung issues and a compromised immune system because I am recovering from brain surgery. I have not seen anything on tv it written about how the air will be tomorrow. I am supposed to have a Dr appointment. I'm wondering if I should cancel and reschedule. Thank you so much.

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    1. Lynelle, sorry about your health issues. We cannot offer personalized medical advice, but are expecting air to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups there tomorrow. So if you do travel, take good precautions (N95 mask, car a/c on recirculation mode). Feel better soon!

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  57. The smoke is just starting to get thick here in the Satsop river valley. Gonna get a lot worse.

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  58. How bad will it be near Wenatchee where we are supposed to head for the weekend?

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  59. Will Centralia Wa be hit very bad?

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  60. Is it ok to use central AC on recirculate using a merv 13 filter?

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  61. I’m curious about the Gig Harbor area on Saturday afternoon/evening?

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  62. Is it expected to be very bad in Snohomish county? The kids and I can stay inside but my boyfriend works outdoors

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    1. See forecast in latest blog post: https://wasmoke.blogspot.com/2020/09/super-massive-smoke-plume-hovering.html

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  63. What about the North Bend area? I-90 Corridor?

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  64. Super massive... that is not a very professional description. What the expected air quality index might be would be more helpful. Super massive sou da like poor advertising for bogus filters...

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    1. Unfortunately, every location has a different expectation and AQI value. You can see the forecast for your specific location at https://enviwa.ecology.wa.gov/home/text/421

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    2. Any advice on our trip this weekend to Twisp/Winthrop/Manama?

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  65. Planning to drive from Renton to Bonnet Lake area tomorrow morning around 1 PM. Will it be bad in that area?

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  66. hi what about sun lake dry fall state park? We have two night camping trip reserved here.

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  67. When should we expect to see it get bad I. Spokane area

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    1. Smoke models show moderate smoke starting tomorrow, with it getting bad late tomorrow night and into Saturday morning. That being said, Spokane is far enough down-stream you shouldn't see anything really bad sustained too long.

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    2. Thank you for all the information. Living in Edmonds, when should we expect the worst air quality?

      Thank you.

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  68. Replies
    1. See forecast in latest blog post: https://wasmoke.blogspot.com/2020/09/super-massive-smoke-plume-hovering.html

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  69. How about long Beach, wa? How bad?

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    1. See forecast in latest blog post: https://wasmoke.blogspot.com/2020/09/super-massive-smoke-plume-hovering.html

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  70. Any prediction on what San Juan Island and Anacortes might see over the next few days?

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  71. Will it be bad in Edgewood?

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  72. Is it safe drive down south from Seattle towards SFO over the weekend?

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  73. Hi, we are supposed to be camping Friday Saturday and Sunday at Rialto Beach on the peninsula. Any idea how badly that area will be affected and for how long?

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  74. Golfing in Marysville on Friday. A good idea or not?

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  75. Camp trip with our kids to ocean shores to meet family. Is it smart to cancel considering our entire time will be outside?

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  76. What about for Lopez Island? We have a camping reservation from Friday 9/11- Sunday 9/12. We will have young children with us and were planning to stay in a tent.

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  77. What do you think about backpacking in Enchanted Valley (past Quinault in Olympic National) from Sat - Tues?

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  78. Hello, just last night I was checking where to go from the Kirkland smoke, (before this recent report,) and it looked like Ellensburg was going to be pretty clear. What about Ellensburg as of tonight and Friday,a this new plume of smoke coming?

    I don't want to leave Kirkland and drive right into equal or worse conditions.
    Thank you

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  79. What is the impact looking like for the Tri-Cities over on the eastern part of the state?

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  80. Planning on leaving today for Lake Chelan until 8-17. Any idea what the smoke levels will be over that period of time. Always over 100 or any of days under 100? Thank you

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  81. What are the expectations for Wenatchee area Friday thru Sunday? AQI is currently 159, Unhealthy and was pushing 200 earlier. How much worse should we expect?

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  82. When will Yakima's greatest impact be?

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  83. The air here in Pateros is already bad will it be hit harder this weekend with additional smoke from other than the fires around us?

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  84. Hello...we are flying out from seattle to calif tomorrow morning..no cancellation from the airline yet but do u think we should cancel?

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  85. Will Cle Elum and Snoqualmie pass be hit hard? Hoping to go hiking this weekend with our 1 year old.

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  86. How about the Hood Canal area for Saturday and Sunday?

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  87. Will the cloud get as far north as Oroville?

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  88. How bad will it be on the coast near forks and la push? Bad enough to postpone a hiking trip?

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  89. Where do you expect the worst of it?

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  90. Do you know how Far East this smoke plume will go? We are scheduled to be going to lake roesiger this weekend...

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  91. Will Rimrock Lake area get better by Saturday? Or worse? Today is Red, tomorrow shows Orange on your map, so wasn't sure if we will be in yellow by sat. Thank you!

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  92. I see no comments yet regarding the Huge wildfire happening right now in the Rochester, WA area of our state & how that's playing a part in the Shelton/Olympia,WA area &/or possible coastal regions of our state. Can you elaborate on this as well, please??

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    1. The Bordeaux Fire located near Rochester is contained and not huge (300 acres burned). There are no active fire locations due to that fire that I can see. http://www.chronline.com/crime/update-bordeaux-fire-in-south-thurston-contained-evacuation-orders-lifted/article_9401a990-f2c4-11ea-9505-f7bf67fe3473.html

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  93. Thank you for your patient responses to everyone! Curious about projections for Camano Island tomorrow (Friday), and Mt. Baker Saturday?

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  94. Hello Super Helpful Person, If I'm reading correctly, the Eastern Gorge (Hood River and East), will have unhealthy air through Sunday. Is that safe to say?

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  95. Hi there, thank you for how responsive to comments you're being, and the work you're doing. Another location question..

    How would you guess north-central WA will be affected? Specifically, northern Okanogan County? Southern British Columbia, across the border?

    Thank you again!

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  96. To what extent will the Walla Walla Valley be affected? Worst days.

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  97. This site is so incredibly helpful. I’ve been doing my own research and forecasting by looking at the surface and jet forecasts etc. This has been the most helpful site! One more question ...

    Anything that should be expected in terms of elevation bs not? Ie; would smoke be better or worse in mountains in the 4,000 a 6,000 elevation range?

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  98. Is Seattle and the I-5 corridor north expected to be hit with the massive smoke cloud. We already have lots of smoke the much worse this afternoon then this morning. I have lung disease, on oxygen 24/7 and waiting for a lung transplant!. Between Covid wearing a mask, the high temperatures and the added smoke I can’t breath! I want take all the necessary precautions. Help!!! I’m unsure how bad things will get here in Everett where I live. Thx Is air conditioning okay?

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  99. And the Palouse? Pullman, Colfax area

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  100. Do you any idea what PM2.5 forecast dataset that the Windy app uses? Its forecast is frightening.

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  101. When can we reasonably expect this episode to be over? Of course this assumes no more fires begin. Do the fires have to be completely contained for the smoke to no longer be an issue in the Seattle area? When the fires are finally burning less acerage will the Cascades stop the smoke's westward movement? And is it true the Olympics and Cascades can trap smoke while the actual fire is contained? Can rain help clear the smoke? As the fires lessen will the Cascades stop what smoke is still being generated? Lots of questions, but knowledge is a good thing.

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  102. I have (had?) outdoor activity planned in Marysville on Friday. Is it best to postpone or go ahead? Nothing urgent, just finally getting some outdoor activity.

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  103. Is there an elevation ceiling to the smoke layer? Would the North Cascades be above the smoke this weekend?

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  104. I'm in Bellevue. What does "hazardous" mean, and is that what we can expect here? Also - how long is this anticipated to go on? 1 day, 3 days, 2 weeks or more? How does all that smoke "dissipate?"

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  105. When do you expect the smoke to dissipate?

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  106. I have a trip planned for sunday at paradise lodge on mt Rainer. How will the smoke be there?

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  107. I have a trip planned for sunday at paradise lodge on mt Rainer. How will the smoke be there?

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  108. Wondering how bad it will be at baker lake/concrete area???

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  109. Going to Lake Cushman for a few days. Should I stay in the cabin and not plan on walks/hikes this weekend?

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  110. Will the gorge smoke reach Walla Walla?

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  111. Yep makes it hard text me when you're homeless being out here in all this smoke and with my wife having pneumonia or one of her lungs and blood clots on the other one in severe asthma and with the councel for the homeless here in Vancouver can't help you it makes it hard when you have to be out here in all this smoke

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  112. Marysville, nort everett area , i have apot for my little one am trying ylto get advice on whether I should avoid outdoors all together and just cancel. Thanks.

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  113. How bad will it be in the North Bend area?

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    1. See forecast in latest blog post: https://wasmoke.blogspot.com/2020/09/super-massive-smoke-plume-hovering.html

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  114. Thanks for you patience and input here! Any thoughts about Camano Island through the weekend, and Mt. Baker/Artist Point area?

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