Seattle smoke forecast: Poor air quality expected

Air quality is expected to be moderate to unhealthy across western Washington this weekend.

SEATTLE — Air quality is expected to worsen over western Washington this weekend as wildfire smoke blankets the area.

Winds changed direction from Friday night to Saturday morning, bringing smoke into western Washington, according to Puget Sound Clean Air Dealer (PSCAA). Wildfire smoke reached the northern Sound on Saturday morning and continued to move south throughout the day.

According to KING 5 meteorologist Christopher Nunley, the impacts are expected to worsen overnight and into Sunday.

Air quality levels could be moderate to bad for sensitive groups across the Puget Sound on Saturday. According to the PSCAA, air quality is expected to continue to deteriorate Sunday, sometimes reaching unhealthy levels or worse.

Nunley said the worst air quality would be in areas north of Everett and the North Cascade foothills in Whatcom and Skagit counties.

ONE Air quality warning was issued for most of western Washington and will be in effect from 9 a.m. Saturday to noon Monday.

Smoke rises from the Sourdough and Blue Lake fires burning in the North Cascades, along with the wildfires burning in Canada. As of Friday, burnt sourdough burned 4,532 acres and controlled 11%; the blue lake fire burned 215 acres, according to InciWeb.

A wildfire near Kelowna, British Columbia forced residents to evacuate and burned homes on Friday after it got “exponentially worse” overnight. The wildfires spanned more than 16,803 acres, according to the Canadian Forest Fire Information System.

Canada has seen a record number of wildfires this year — contributing to asphyxiation in many parts of the United States — with more than 5,700 fires burning more than 33.9 million acres from one end of Canada to the other. , according to reports Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center.

This smoky ring of air is expected to be short-lived in western Washington. A weak weather system is expected to move in from the northwest increasing shoreline winds late Sunday, pushing cooler and smoke-free air into western Washington over the next week.

Nunley said relief crews will reach the Washington coast before entering Puget Sound and the foothills. Residents can expect improved air quality Monday and Tuesday.

This was one of the first severe smoke events western Washington experienced this summer. Year-to-date, Nunley said wind patterns and the absence of major fires in Washington have helped keep Puget Sound’s air quality good.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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