SEATTLE, WA — A plume of wildfire smoke from California could arrive over Washington Thursday, as more than 14,200 firefighters continue to grapple with 20 major fires burning in the Golden State.
In early August, thunderstorms ignited 900 wildfires across California, which have now burned a combined 1.5 million acres and destroyed 3,100 buildings. Two of the fires are the second and third largest in state history. Both are now 70 percent contained, but firefighters are bracing for a heatwave that could exacerbate challenges.
In Washington, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is tracking a plume of smoke expected to settle over the region Thursday. At first, most smoke will be overhead, with minimal impact expected for air at ground level, and moderate air pollution levels at most. However, if the plume sticks around through the holiday weekend, air quality levels may deteriorate to the point where it becomes unhealthy for sensitive groups.
A plume of wildfire smoke from California is expected to pass over the Puget Sound region starting Thursday, September 3. To learn more on how to be prepared for wildfire smoke, visit https://t.co/oKZt83BQbq pic.twitter.com/OsrbseSatY
— PS Clean Air Agency (@pscleanair) September 2, 2020
The Clean Air Agency will monitor the situation as it evolves and post updates on its website. Residents can also sign up to receive air quality alerts on their cell phones by texting "WILDFIRES" to 313131. Fire marshals in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties already have fire safety burn bans in place.