Saturday, August 19, 2023

Spokane County - State of Emergency

Spokane County is under a State of Emergency due to two large fires that have each burned approximately 10,000 acres: the Oregon Road Fire near Elk and the Gray Fire in Medical Lake.  Many homes and structures have been lost and the fires are still very active.  Spokane Emergency Management has information on evacuations and other important notices.  Evacuation Shelters are available at Riverside High School and Spokane Falls Community College.

Current air quality is very unhealthy to hazardous due to both local and regional fires.  Continued fire activity and region-wide smoke will continue to cause poor air quality until at least Monday.  However, the remnants of Hurricane Hilary will likely push welcome moisture into the region late Monday and Tuesday, which will help clear the smoke and hopefully help with fire suppression.  

When air quality is very unhealthy or worse, everyone should reduce exposure. Stay inside and filter indoor air to keep it cleaner. Go elsewhere for cleaner air, if needed. See the Health Information Tab on this blog for more information about how you can protect yourself from wildfire smoke.  See the Local Smoke Outlooks for detailed forecasts in your area. 

Fires around Spokane with recent satellite hot-spot detects in orange (8/19/2023 - Source: WatchDuty)


  1. Will enough moisture from Hillary make it over the mountains to give some rain to the Spokane area fires? Seems like the mountains usually catch most of it as the wind blows from the west.

    1. The spot forecasts for the fires around Spokane aren't confident about the rain... it's looking like some light rain could hit those fire locations on Tuesday morning, coming from the south. Not enough to put out fires, but the much cooler weather and increased humidity should help minimize fire activity. It's still summer though, so we should expect general fire activity to pick up again later this month and into September.


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