What’s new with the fires polluting eastern Washington’s air


KENNEWICK, Wash. — People in parts of central and southeast Washington are breathing moderate to unhealthy air due to smoke from large forest fires and other wildfires.

A Monday update from state, county, and federal agencies, and Indian Tribes puts local air quality primarily in the “good” range but forecasts show the smoke moving in.

TRACK THE SMOKE: Washington Smoke Blog

The Washington Department of Ecology is extending an Air Quality Alert for Okanogan, Ferry, and Stevens counties. Air quality may reach levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Let’s look at some of the massive wildfires burning in and around Washington that are affecting the air you breathe.


The Cub Creek 2 Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is estimated at 44,100 acres with 10% containment. Smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire and Cub Creek 2 Fire will shadow the Methow Valley on Monday. Aerial attacks will be limited, as aircraft are shared between the Cedar Creek Fire and Cub Creek 2 Fire. Evacuation Map


The Cedar Creek Fire in Okanogan County is at 24,647 acres and 11% contained. Fire activity picked up Sunday. Four helicopters dropped water until dark. Monday update: “The current strategy is to construct containment lines in areas with a high probability of success. The objective is to keep the fire in the higher elevations above the valley and away from values at risk.” Evacuation Map


The Elbow Creek Fire northwest of Wallowa, Oregon is 22,681 acres in size and 32% contained. Much of the fire is lined and crews are on heavy mop-up duty. Fire spotted over containment lines on Sunday but crews were able to control the spot fires. One firefighter was burned on the hand and arm, treated at a hospital, and released. A virtual meeting via Facebook Live starts at 7 p.m.


6,799 acres, 15% contained. Monday update: The plan is to check the fire edge from above and hold fire in strategic locations in the Umatilla National Forest in order to implement control lines.


80,392 acres, 90% contained. Monday plan: Patrol, mop up, and secure fire line before transferring command to California Interagency Incident Management Team 12 at 6 p.m.

LOCAL WEATHER: A hot Monday with triple digits later this week -Jason

Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency order July 6 prohibiting most unpermitted outdoor fires through September 30.

EPA AIRNOW.GOV: Fire and Smoke Map

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality extended an Air Pollution Forecast and Caution for Latah, Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater and Idaho counties off the Nez Perce Reservation. Air quality may reach moderate to unhealthy levels.