Smoke drifting back to Olympic Peninsula

SMOKY AIR IS returning to the North Olympic Peninsula.

The National Weather Service posted on its website https://www.weather.gov/sew/ on Saturday a prediction that air quality would worsen overnight and into Sunday and not improve until Wednesday.

The Peninsula — and the rest of Western Washington — had a brief reprieve from wildfire smoke spreading from British Columbia, eastern Washington and the Maple Fire in Mason County on Thursday after reaching “unhealthy” and “very unhealthy” Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) levels earlier in the week.

The (WAQA) value measuring air pollution posted on the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency website, showed values in either the”good” rating or the “moderate” rating on Thursday.

But on Friday, haze began to creep in and by noon Saturday, the WAQA value in Port Angeles had risen and fallen between values that ranged from “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” while values in Port Townsend remained in the “moderate”zone but were moving toward the next worse rating.

Air quality at Cheeka Peak on the Makah Reservation was into the “unhealthy for sensitive individuals” rating.

Pollution in Western Washington is expected to continue to increase through Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

“A marine push developing Wednesday may begin to improve air quality to some degree,” the weather service said in its forecast.

Much of the smoke is drifting in from British Columbia, in which more than 550 wildfires burning, prompting evacuations and health warnings. Smoke has created unhealthy conditions for most of British Columbia.

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