Smoke likely to return to region

After a couple days of improved air quality in King County, the National Weather Service in Seattle is predicting that wildfire smoke will again spread over the region beginning Sunday, August 19. People who have health conditions that could be affected by smoke should monitor weather forecasts and take steps to protect themselves.

In a statement, NWS Seattle said:

Low level smoke is likely to return to western Washington beginning Sunday [August 19]. Air quality could possibly deteriorate to unhealthy levels Monday and Tuesday [August 20 and 21].

The surface flow pattern will turn offshore and northerly on Sunday. Smoke from British Columbia fires is likely to spread south into western Washington.  Northern areas will be affected first, but eventually all of western Washington could have thick smoke near the surface. It is possible that air quality could
return to the unhealthy levels of earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday.

Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will be in the 80s to low 90s. Current forecasts call for a marine push Tuesday night or Wednesday [August 22] that will cool things off and also push most of the smoke out of the area.

For updates on regional air quality, visit pscleanair.org. In addition, fire officials continue to ask residents to avoid all open fires due to the heat and dry conditions. A Phase 1 burn ban remains in effect for unincorporated King County. For a list of all burn bans in Washington state, visit WABurnBans.net.

King County fire marshal issues burn ban

The King County fire marshal is issuing a fire safety burn ban in unincorporated areas of the county effective July 14 due to the recent dry conditions and minimal rainfall expected in the near future.

This is a Phase 1 burn ban and applies to all outdoor burning except for small recreational fires in established fire pits at approved campgrounds or private property with the owner’s permission. Recreational fires must:

  • be built in a metal or concrete fire pit, such as those typically found in designated campgrounds; and not be used as debris disposal
  • grow no larger than three feet in diameter
  • be located in a clear spot free from any vegetation for at least ten feet in a horizontal direction, including at least 25 feet away from any structure and allow 20 foot vertical clearance from overhanging branches
  • be attended at all times by an alert individual with equipment capable of extinguishing the fire.

For properties located within cities, please contact your local jurisdiction for requirements. This ban remains in effect until further notice.

The King County fire marshal reminds everyone that it is each individual’s responsibility to help prevent fires that destroy lives, property, and our wildland. For more information, visit the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review Fire Marshal’s website.