Friday, September 8, 2023

Good air quality and low fire danger

Despite good air quality in most of the state, the Airplane Lake fire still has active hot-spots and is producing smoke that's been impacting residents around Lake Wenatchee.  Intermittent moderate smoke is also affecting the nearby communities of Entiat and Cashmere.  The Airplane Lake fire has only grown 200 acres over the past few days, but the fire is uncontained and will continue to produce smoke until the next wetting rains occur, which are not expected anytime soon.  

A wind shift is expected tonight, and moderate smoke from the Airplane Lake fire is expected to impact mountain towns in Snohomish County (such as Darrington) over the weekend.  That shouldn't last long though, as westerly winds are expected to pick back up on Sunday afternoon.

The Sourdough fire near the Ross Lake National Recreation Area is partly contained and has not grown much at all, prompting officials to reopen some trails and camps in the area.  Smoke from the fire has been minimal and intermittent, with no large hot-spots detected recently.

Other fires of note in Washington are in the Cowlitz Complex, with 700 acres burned across several fires.  Despite partial containment, there is still moderate fire behavior at the Snagtooth, Spencer Quartz, and Grassy Mountain fires.  No significant smoke has been detected in the area so far, but sensors are sparse in the region.

Fire danger remains too low for much risk of new significant fires in the coming days. The majority of our wildfire season has passed, and we don't expect any big flare-ups.   Since air quality and fire weather are not a concern, agricultural burning in the Columbia Basin and Idaho has begun.  Residents near agricultural communities from Yakima to Whitman county will likely see intermittent moderate smoke from agricultural burning through the month.

Smoke from the Airplane Lake Fire (image courtesy of

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