Washington Smoke Map

*The map above is not able to display all state air quality monitors. Click here to see all monitors in Washington: WA Ecology Air Monitors

Note: Some users might notice intermittent discrepancies in colors shown on the map of air quality monitors above, and those reported on the Department of Ecology's official page. This is because Ecology believes their method of calculating the air quality category (i.e. “Good”, “Moderate”, Unhealthy” etc) is more protective of public health in Washington. If in doubt as to which better represents public health risk, use the more stringent of the two (i.e. the map showing worse air quality).

Friday, July 3, 2015

7/3/2015 Fire/Air Quality Specialist on the way to Paradise Fire

The Paradise Fire has been picking up steam with the hot weather so the team managing the fire has decided to order a specialist who can help them understand and communicate concerns about air quality in surrounding areas. This specialist - an Air Resource Adviser or ARA - will be arriving in the next day or two with 2 temporary air quality monitors to be installed in Forks and Queets. Until then we can take a look at smoke model output for clues of where the smoke will go. The first picture on the left below shows smoke dispersion expected this afternoon - smoke is expected to go east into the park and could reach the southern part of Puget Sound, depending on how active the fire is. The middle picture is for about 8am on July 4 and shows the smoke drifting a bit more aimlessly, some going west to the coast and some going south/south east. And the final picture on the right is for tomorrow afternoon with smoke traveling to the south along the I5 corridor and east to the Kitsap penninsula.

Below is a shot taken from the Paradise Fire Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015) showing fire activity on July 2.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

7/2/2015 Paradise Fire kicking up some smoke

After remaining fairly contained within Olympic National Park since it started in May, the Paradise fire has been a little more active and a little more smoky the last couple of days. There's currently little concern about smoke reaching high enough concentrations to be a significant health risk in the short term, but visitors to the park and the coast may see and smell some smoke. Morning meteorology is likely to send the smoke down the Queets River toward the coast.  If the fire grows and becomes more active, smoke may reach the Puget Sound area.

Here's a view of the smoke from yesterday, July 1 from the Paradise fire Facebook page.

Since the peninsula generally has such good air quality, there are not many air monitors sited over there to help measure what conditions are like. Various webcams may provide a hint though:

More about the increased smoke at the Paradise fire:  http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/4305/25470/
Paradise fire Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paradise-Fire/831205013596015

7/3/15 Breathe Easy for Now

Fires Subside, Breathe Easy for Now 
“Hot, hot, hot” temperatures and increasing winds should keep most wildfire smoke above breathing height. 
If winds become too strong, smoke plumes can separate (called plume sheer) from an active fire and lay down into valleys spreading poor air quality.  If any fires begin in the North Central Washington, north winds will blow strong enough to cause plume sheer, starting Friday night, and getting stronger on the Fourth of July.

Weekend Cautions
East Slopes of the Cascades: hazardous fire conditions exist. 
Fire weather warnings and watches in effect at this time through at least Saturday, July 4th.
Fuels are very DRY.  Combine dry fuel, wind, and a spark = uncontrollable WILDFIRE.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30/15 Air Quality Update: Wenatchee Area

Smoke and Forecast: 
The Sleepy Hollow Fire has very little smoke production at this point.
Three weather words for today: HOT, DRY, & WINDY.  NW winds will increase this afternoon and cool temperatures a bit.  Wednesday, the hot and dry pattern continues through at least Saturday, and likely longer.
Other fire starts in mountainous areas have started to pop up.  With highs near 100F today and then topping out each day above 90F, wildfire smoke should not be an issue for the next few days.

Quick Info
Smoke impacts from wildfires can happen quickly.  Stay informed with some of these links and sites.
Many state, federal, and county lands have campfire and firework restrictions.  Contact the specific campground, land management agency, or county for more information.