Friday, June 20, 2014

Smoked out? Where to find information during wildfire season

By Jay Carmony, Ecology air quality specialist

2012 Tabletop Wildfire
(Photo by Kittitas County Emergency Response)
It’s the season for wildfires in our great state. And with that comes smoke that can linger for a while creating unhealthy air quality, especially in communities that hug the valleys of the Cascades.

Federal, state, and local agencies would like to keep you apprised of the air quality changes.

Use these web pages to find out the latest on air quality and wildfire smoke at

Useful information is added to the blog when the smoke gets thick.

Seasons of smoke

Remember there are four seasons of smoke each year in the Northwest. In the spring and fall we experience forest prescribed burning, agricultural field and orchard burns, and where allowed, residential yard waste burns. In the summer there is the threat of wildfires, and in winter smoke hangs around from home heating woodstoves and fireplaces.

Help reduce wildfire starts and obey home heating burn bans for cleaner year-round air.


Keep tabs on burn bans.

Consider alternatives to burning such as composting and chipping yard debris. Never burn garbage and always attend to a fire.

Real time air quality information

More health information

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