Smoke swirl in a heat dome: ‘Unhealthy’ air quality soon

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Wildfire smoke from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and California will soon hit our area and drop air quality while we’re stuck in another “heat dome.”

A smoke forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratories predicts wildfire smoke from California will come north and mix in with smoke from British Columbia and north-central Washington before swirling in the Mid-Columbia Basin on Saturday with southeast Washington/northeast Oregon smoke:

We have good air quality for Thursday but unhealthy conditions are expected to arrive within the next few days.

TRACK THE SMOKE: Washington Smoke Blog

The interactive smoke forecast map from the Washington State Department of Ecology shows ‘Good’ air quality for most of our area for Thursday, July 29, then a drop to ‘Moderate’ on Friday and Saturday. Come Sunday, August 1, air quality in the Yakima Valley is predicted to become ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.’ That ‘USG’ air may hit Walla Walla on Monday, August 2, when flat-out ‘Unhealthy’ air is forecast to hit parts of the Tri-Cities and most of Franklin County:

 

On top of this, humidity is dropping and temperatures are climbing to well above normal for the next several days. Expect highs of 95-108 degrees Thursday through Saturday.

FIRST ALERT WEATHER: Heat Advisory in effect with temps of 100+ and sunshine -Jason

SEVERE WEATHER ALERTS: Available here, on our app, or sent straight to your inbox

Storm chances will be nipping at our heels from the south; lightning could spark new fires Thursday evening and again Friday. Parts of eastern Oregon will be under a Red Flag Warning.

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MIDDAY THURSDAY PNW WILDFIRE SNAPSHOT

🔥 Lick Creek Fire 20 miles southwest of Asotin is 80,392 acres and 90% contained

🔥 Elbow Creek Fire 17 miles northwest of Wallowa is 22,955 acres and 50% contained

🔥 Green Ridge Fire 30 miles east of Walla Walla is 8,240 acres and 15% contained

🔥 Cub Creek 2 Fire near Winthrop, Okanogan County is 52,832 acres and 18% contained

🔥 Cedar Creek Fire near Winthrop, Okanogan County is 36,922 acres and 10% contained

🔥 Delancy Fire in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is 223 acres

🔥 Chuweah Creek Fire on the Colville Reservation is 36,752 acres and 85% contained

🔥 Sherwood Fire in Wellpinit, Stevens County is 1,220 acres and 50% contained

🔥 Summit Trail Fire in Inchelium, Ferry County is 15,246 acres and 9% contained

🔥 Nelson Creek Fire in Chattaroy, Spokane County is 154 acres and 90% contained

🔥 Hazard Hill Fire 11 miles north of Spokane is 125 acres and 40% contained

🔥 Jack Fire in Oregon’s Umpqua National Forest is 22,491 acres and 61% contained

🔥 Bruler Fire eight miles south of Detroit Lake, OR is 195 acres and 53% contained

🔥 Bootleg Fire 28 miles northeast of Klamath Falls is 413,545 acres and 53% contained:

NEW FIRE MAP: 10 wildfires in Washington, 4 in Oregon

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NEW FOR THURSDAY