Smoke continues to choke Washington even as temperatures drop a few degrees

By Bruce A. Smith

Day 6 – August 6, 2017.

Smoke from regional forest fires continues to plague Washington residents, especially in the Puget Sound Basin. Air quality has improved somewhat since Thursday, August 3, the nadir of air quality, but we still have gray-brown skies throughout much of our area.

Over twenty major conflagrations are raging in British Columbia, and northern winds are pushing smoke from those blazes into our skies. We also have smoke coming from fires in Chelan and the Okanogan in Washington, along with smaller fires located on both sides of the Cascades.

Today, Sunday August 6, air quality readings at the Department of Ecology’s monitoring station in Puyallup read “52,” which is characterized as “moderately” unhealthy. Under these conditions, the DOE recommends that folks with health issues such as asthma, cardiac, or diabetes continue to remain indoors and limit their physical exertion. However, these people have been dealing with this assault on their breathing for nearly a week, and many are complaining of head aches, sore throats and chest pains. Often they just “feel lousy.”

However, area residents caught a break on Friday evening as cool winds blew in from the west and knocked down the 90-degree temperatures and pushed some of the smoke to the east. DOE readings in Puyallup reached a low of 39 at 9 pm, which is deemed “healthy,” down from a high of 238 the evening prior when conditions were labeled “very unhealthy.”

In fact, the Friday night nearly-full moon shone white, in contrast to its orange glow on Thursday evening and again last night, Saturday. The coloration change is due to the dirty air refracting the light, much as a sunset shines red.

In addition, our day time temperatures are ten degrees less than at the height of the heat wave at mid-week. The high temp in Eatonville on Saturday, August 5 was 86 degrees, while Friday topped-out at 95. Today’s forecast is mid-high 80s. That level of heat is forecast by the Weather Underground to continue through the next ten days.

Unfortunately, the Weather Underground is also predicting that winds will continue to blow from the north or north-west through Thursday, which will continue to deliver smoke from the forest fires in British Columbia. According to the Weather Underground the winds will not shift to the west until Friday, and even then their strength will be modest, with wind speeds expected to be only 5 mph.

As a result, the smoke will be with us probably for another week.

This entry was posted in Environment, Health, Politics, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Smoke continues to choke Washington even as temperatures drop a few degrees

  1. brucesmith49 says:

    Update: Sunday at 10 pm.

    The air quality in the Eatonville region has been steadily deteriorating this evening. Smoke has been intensifying all day, and current readings in Puyallup are 155, an “unhealthy” level. In addition, the readings in Puyallup are higher this evening than for any DOE monitoring station in western Washington.

    Lastly, the full moon has risen and is glowing in a bright orange-red hue. Very disturbing, but oddly striking.

  2. goldenhandstherapies says:

    Thanks B.

    This is sad and scary scenario and I apprciate your reporting it.

    Glad to hear your back and sorry we couldn’t connect while you were East.

    In health,

    David Heller, MMT, RM, CPHC Golden Hands Massage and Aesthetic Therapies Founder / Director Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Executive Board Member 516.658.8443


    • brucesmith49 says:

      Editor’s Note: I was Back East for 53 days earlier this summer. In June I went to New York for my mother’s 93rd birthday, and then got pneumonia and stayed to recover. I returned to WA just in time for the smoke attack.

  3. Paula Morris says:

    Thanks for this info Bruce. No wonder I feel like crap lately! Coughing a lot.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Hope you feel better, soon, Paula. What are you doing to take care of yourself? Staying indoors doesn’t do too much, imho. And it’s boring.

      The next angle I’m following is calling the Health Department and see how the smoke is affecting the general public. I find that I too am coughing more. Often I get funny headaches, and sometimes just feel like crap, too. Then I put my mask back on.

  4. Gayle Tice says:

    Have you heard about people with heart disease being advised to take medical leave from work, while the smoke persists? My fiancé heard about that happening in Seattle, and it sounds like we don’t have it as bad here.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      No, Gayle, I hadn’t heard that. In Seattle, you say?

      When I look at the statewide map of monitoring stations and their readings, the highest levels of smoke and pollution are in the urban corridor of the Puget Sound region. The Puyallup monitoring station ranks in the top three statewide for low air quality.

  5. DG says:

    When are you going to write a story on the possibility of James Klansnic being DB Cooper? If you don’t believe he was Cooper then atleast write a story on why he isn’t Cooper? Guys like Georger and Robert99 are going to keep looking and believing he died in the jump until it’s confirmed Klansnic was Cooper. Can you image how they will feel the day it was confirmed, after all their time and laughing Klansnic off was wasted? I can match everything from his turkey gobbler to his olive skin and dimple. Poor Shutter, he chose to believe a guy who payed Astoria townspeople thousands to collaborate a fake story. I have proof of that now too btw, over the one who actually figured this mystery out. I’ve been nice lately, but this morning I think I will start making fun of these guys who wasted there whole life and say they are looking for Cooper and I’ve had him laying at there feet for 5 months now. Apart of me feels sorry for them.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      A story on Klansnic is a long ways away. Whattayagot? Not much. You’ve got a pix of the guy that you claim looks like DB Cooper. Okay. But to me that’s a starting point, not an end – and certainly not a conclusive piece of evidence.

      You need to dig up more evidence. Bank accounts, family testimonials, direct knowledge of how to jump a 727. One parachute jump in WWII is not sufficient.

      What is more compelling is your story – of how you became fascinated with Klansnic, your emotional reactions to reading about him – that kind of thing. How and why you felt emboldened enough to pester the family, etc.

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