Wildfire Smoke may make another appearance this week

Multi-limbed tree in front of sky called orange by wildfire smoke.

Despite the change in seasons, wildfires still rage out of control in many areas, and smoke from those fires will likely impact ORCAA’s jurisdiction for the rest of this week.

The movement of wildfire smoke is notoriously hard to predict. Still, with fires to the north, south, and east of ORCAA’s six-county jurisdiction (Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston), there is a good possibility that some of our communities could see elevated levels of air pollution later today through the weekend.

Parts – and possibly all – of the Olympic region could see high-level smoke overhead in the coming days, but where and when smoke descends into our neighborhoods is unclear. Given the geography of ORCAA’s jurisdiction – waterways on three sides, and a massive mountain range in the center – the upcoming variable surface winds are likely to shift and move that wildfire smoke in unpredictable ways.

ORCAA staff will monitor the situation continually and report updated news as it develops. But residents can also keep an eye on ORCAA’s air monitoring network and plan their activities on those real-time readings.  Should local air quality monitors show elevated PM pollution levels, anyone with breathing difficulties or existing cardiovascular issues should stay indoors when possible and take additional precautions as warranted. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulties should consult with their health care providers.

ORCAA’s air quality monitoring network can be viewed here: https://www.www.orcaa.org/air-quality/current-air-quality/

To address concerns about the health impacts of wildfire smoke, and how best to cope with these events in a healthful manner, visit the Washington Department of Health website at: https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/AirQuality/SmokeFromFires

For more information on wildfire smoke origins and movement, visit https://wasmoke.blogspot.com

Finally, another great tool for monitoring current air quality is the new Air Quality Washington app. The AirQualityWA app, available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, provides real-time data about air quality conditions throughout the state. The app draws on the data streaming from all the monitoring stations in Washington, including those operated by ORCAA within its six-county jurisdiction.

Download the app

Apple iOS: Air Quality WA – iOS

Google Android: Air Quality WA – Android



Media Contact

Dan Nelson

Communications/Outreach Manager