Thursday, August 11, 2022

8/11/2022 Be ready to protect yourself before the smoke hits (and a forecast on that)

It’s always best to be prepared to protect yourself from wildfire smoke—which seems hard to think about with the quiet season we are having so far. But the gift of a slow start to fire season is more time to buy supplies you may need, which typically sell out once the smoke hits.

Reduce your exposure to wildfire smoke by following these steps:

  • Limit outdoor physical activity and take it easy inside.
  • Keep indoor air cleaner by:
    • Closing windows and doors, unless it is too hot to maintain safe temperatures.
    • Not adding to indoor air pollution, such as cigarette smoking or burning candles.
    • Filtering indoor air through an HVAC system, HEPA portable air cleaner, or a DIY box fan filter.
      • There are technical details involved with all of these options and they
        require supplies, so do your homework.
      • Filtering indoor air is the best way to keep you and your family safe.
      • You will hear more about how to build a DIY box fan filter from our expert soon.
    • Setting air conditioners to re-circulate.
  • Seek clean air elsewhere, if the air quality remains poor and it is not possible to keep the air in your home clean or cool.
  • If you must be outside, wear a properly fitted, NIOSH-approved particulate respirator, such as an N95 mask.

For more information see the Health Information Tab or visit WA DOH’s Smoke from Fires webpage.


Bonus smoke forecast from our meteorologist: 

Well over 1,000 lightning strikes have been detected in Washington over the past 48 hours, and with dry and breezy conditions returning this weekend, an uptick in new lightning fires is expected both in the Olympics and the Cascades. Weather conditions west of the Cascades are not conducive to fast fire growth through the weekend, but the same cannot be said for areas east of the Cascades. A new fire 5-10 miles west of Lake Wenatchee was noted this morning after storms exited the region, and there is concern that this fire could grow as the weather becomes drier and breezier this weekend. Smoke from the fire is currently visible on satellite moving north-northwest, but winds are expected to shift over the next 24-48 hours and begin blowing the smoke to the east. At this time, smoke settling in the Puget Lowlands looks unlikely, but areas near Chelan, Wenatchee, and Omak need to monitor fire developments through the weekend. As weather conditions become more conducive to fire growth over the next week, we will be monitoring for those potential smoke impacts and updating this blog as more information becomes available.


  1. Was the unusual ozone spike to AQI 90 yesterday afternoon in Spokane County related the smoke?

    1. The higher ozone was likely influenced by smoke from the Williams Lake fire, in SE Spokane county, which was active that day.

  2. Kirkland/Woodinville border (near Ste. Michelle). I'm inside, have central fan/filter running, I'm smelling wildfire smoke, it's even stronger outside, but only one AQI station (Lk. Forest Park) registered a spike (dark red to yellow), corresponding with my having to close the bedroom window at 3 AM on 8/13 (Sat), but I still smell (at noon) wood smoke (with a hint of garbage). Is this coming from the wildfires 50 miles NE?

    1. I looked at the timelines available at for low-cost sensors and the Lake Forest Park monitor in your area and it doesn't look like any spikes were detected. Perhaps this was a local source in your neighborhood.


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