Monday, August 7, 2023

Monday Update: Smoke impacts in Central and Eastern WA; cleaner air expected mid-week

The Sourdough Fire in the North Cascades has grown to 1,400 acres and continues to impact air quality closest to the fire as well as in Chelan and Okanogan Counties. An Air Resource Advisor (ARA) has been assigned to the fire--please see the local Smoke Outlooks for their specific forecasts.

Over the weekend and into this morning, air monitoring sites in Chelan and Okanogan Counties observed smoke impacts corresponding to moderate and unhealthy for sensitive groups air quality levels. 

Air quality will continue to improve today and tomorrow as smoke production from the Sourdough Fire continues to decrease. Potential rain will also help to dampen any fire growth. Areas closest to the fire (Ross and Diablo Lakes) will continue to observe smoke impacts corresponding to moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups air quality levels. In the Methow Valley, moderate air quality levels are expected to continue, with the potential for air quality to intermittently reach unhealthy for sensitive groups tonight and tomorrow night. Westerly winds will keep smoke away from the western slopes of the cascades. 

As for the rest of the state, moderate smoke impacts across Eastern Washington from fires in Idaho, Montana, and Canada will continue through tomorrow. Smaller local fires (such as the Agency Butte Fire east of Nespelem in Okanogan County) could contribute to deteriorating air quality conditions closest to the fires, but smoke production will be mitigated by today's rain. Shifting winds on Wednesday will lead to improvements and cleaner air as westerly winds push smoke out of the region.

A reminder to keep an eye on the 5-day smoke forecast and current air quality conditions at the map at the top of this page, and we'll update the blog as needed.

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