Wildfire smoke expected to begin clearing Sunday

PORT ANGELES — Smoke dirtied the skies and burned eyes and sinuses on the North Olympic Peninsula on Friday and was expected to continue through today with clearing on Sunday.

That’s the forecast from the state Department of Ecology, which reported air quality in the “moderate” category on Friday, throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Individual stations had shown air quality in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” categories.

Wildfire smoke began moving into western Washington on Thursday night, according to KING 5. Smoke is from wildfires burning in British Columbia and the North Cascades.

In addition to the smoke haze, temperatures are expected to rise over the weekend, with highs ranging from 78 degrees in Port Townsend and Port Angeles to 90 degrees in Forks, according to the National Weather Service.

“Some may be reluctant to open windows overnight in order to cool down their indoor space due to the degraded air quality,” the National Weather Service said on its website.

“After consultation with both emergency management and public health partners, the decision has been made to issue the advisory to raise awareness that in instances where there is concurrent heat and smoke, cooling should be prioritized,” meteorologists said.

“Onshore flow will begin to increase on Sunday which should result in gradually improving air quality and also set the stage for cooler conditions on Monday,” the weather service said.

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