Department of Ecology News Release - October 2, 2012

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Winds bring cleaner air for a change

YAKIMA - Air quality across most of the state of Washington is good for the first time in many days, with the exception of Clarkston, Liberty and Maple Falls where sensitive groups may be affected, and of moderate concern at Colville.

A few other sites in far Eastern Washington saw short term spikes Monday evening, due to smoke from fires in the Cascades being carried eastward as a front moved in. Some of that smoke was trapped in the Lewiston Clarkston Valley overnight, but is likely to clear this afternoon. Other smoke impacts are expected to be minimal except near wildfires in Washington state. 

Strong winds are expected across much of Eastern Washington today. That has triggered a red flag warning for wildfire growth today across the east side of the state and the possibility of blowing dust in the Columbia Basin.

Winds will die down overnight, and turn easterly tomorrow through Thursday. An air quality alert for most of the east slopes of the Cascades remains in effect through Thursday and there is a possibility some smoke will spill into Western Washington from late Wednesday onward, mostly south of Seattle.

Smoke is also a concern from numerous blazes in Idaho and Montana infiltrating westward into the state on Wednesday and Thursday.

Gov. Gregoire also has extended a burn ban until midnight Sunday night, Oct. 7.

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Media Contact: Joye Redfield-Wilder, 509-575-2610, joye.redfield-wilder@ecy.wa.gov

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