smoke

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Despite drought, wind and unusually warm temperatures, all factors for wildfire spread, Spokane County saw less unhealthy air quality than it has in previous years.

Since the beginning of this year air quality in Spokane County has fallen below the unhealthy for some group’s standard on eight separate days.

Lisa Woodard, the spokeswoman for the Spokane Clean Air Agency, said this year is an average of what the area has already seen, and will see in the coming years.

This weekend air quality in the Spokane area reached unhealthy levels due to wildfire smoke. This summer air quality in Okanogan County briefly was the worst in the world due to wildfires.

Trying To Escape The Smoke? Try A Corsi Box

Jul 23, 2021
Courtesy of texairfilters.com

Weather forecasters say smoke and haze are in the forecast this weekend in parts of the Inland Northwest.

One air quality regulator in north Idaho says it won’t be the last time we see smoke this summer and he urges people to get ready for it.

National Weather Service Spokane

Temperatures in the Inland Northwest are still hotter than normal, and this week the region will also be more prone to fire danger and smoky air due to drought and wind.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

As temperatures approach record levels, the city of Spokane will open the Looff Carrousel in Riverfront Park as well as public libraries to those with no other option to escape the heat.

Washington Department of Ecology screenshot

Wildfire season is upon us and clean air agencies are encouraging you to prepare now in case smoke wafts into your area this summer.

Stephanie May says her agency, the Spokane Clean Air Agency, and several others have declared this Smoke Ready Week.

WA Scientist Rolls Out New Longer-Term Smoke Forecast

Jun 8, 2021
Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Washington’s state environmental agency has developed a new tool for determining where smoke from wildfires is going to disperse. The goal is to give people who are downwind more time so they can prepare.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

National Weather Service forecasts over the weekend indicated we might see winds early in the week that would move some of the thick wildfire smoke out of the region.

 

But the newest computer modeling indicates the weak low pressure coming in late Monday and early Tuesday won't have much of an impact on the smoke.

Washington State Department of Transportation

UPDATE: Monday, 11:45 am

Spokane County's air quality has improved slightly. The county's clean air agency measures 418 parts per million on a 1-500 scale of particulates, still hazardous, but better than the 36-48 hours.  Nearly all of the smoke monitoring stations are registering very unhealthy or hazardous levels.

While it looked like we might see some improvement by today, the current forecasts call for haze to stick around until Friday. Then, we can expect cloudy skies a chance of rain through the weekend.

Washington State Department of Transportation

Washington’s air is smoky and getting worse. The Department of Ecology today [Thursday] issued a statewide air quality advisory.

Andrew Wineke from Ecology says the culprit is smoke from wildfires in Washington and Oregon that has been sitting offshore.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Spokane Clean Air Agency says the county’s air quality is in the unhealthy range.

Between the smoke and the intense heat expected through the rest of the week, local health agencies are warning people to be extra cautious the next few days as temperatures approach record levels.

It's an unusually bad wild fire season in the West, and for weeks people across the region have been breathing air thick with smoke.

"There's smoke from Canada, smoke from Idaho, smoke from California and Montana. There's smoke everywhere," says Greg Svelund, a spokesman for Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality.

Labrador Calls on Congress to Pass Wildfire Bill

Sep 6, 2017
USA Today

Idaho Republican U.S. Representative Raul Labrador is pushing his colleagues to pass a bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires.

On Wednesday afternoon, Labrador issued a statement calling for the House to vote on a bill known as the Resilient Federal Forests Act, a bill on which he’s a co-sponsor. The Republican-led House approved it last year, but the Senate never considered it.

Streetlight Sensors Measure Spokane Air Quality

Aug 10, 2017
spokaneudistrict.org

For the last several days, you’ve seen with your own eyes the wildfire smoke that is hovering over our region. But other sets of ‘eyes’ have also been ‘seeing’ that smoke and taking samples of it. Among those ‘eyes’ are three sensors that sit on the tops of streetlight poles in Spokane’s University District. Brian Lamb, a professor of atmospheric research at Washington State University, says all of the sensors are showing elevated levels of particulates from the smoke.

But, Lamb says, when the smoke is gone, the sensors show some interesting air quality differences that confirm the phenomenon that we know as microclimates.

The wildfire smoke in Washington state has been extreme for days now, and many are wondering just when the air might clear out. An atmospheric scientist from the Washington Department of Ecology thinks the severe wildfire smoke may start to clear out a bit by Thursday for the western part of the state, but linger longer in the east. According to Ranil Dahmmapala,  “The good news is from the weekend onward, there’s a good chance for a pattern shift, and we might have southwest winds to blow some of the smoke away and keep the British Columbia smoke away for a while.”

A summer filled with wildfires means air conditions in the Northwest are going from bad to worse. Fires from British Columbia and around Washington state have contributed to a smoky week.

Like a dreamy scene, the Yakima Valley is blanketed in thick haze. But the reality is not so serene. Coupled with high temperatures and humidity, the smog is taking its toll on local residents.