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NWCAA: Some Whatcom County areas could be spared the worse of the wildfire smoke

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — Northwest Clean Air Agency (NWCAA) issued an air quality forecast this morning, Saturday, September 10th, in line with their current Stage 1 air quality burn ban in Island, Skagit and Whatcom Counties.

Air quality is forecast Saturday to be UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS to UNHEALTHY depending on location. Improving air quality is expected Sunday, with a return to GOOD conditions by Monday Overnight, smoke from east of the Cascades moved into our area and is currently impacting Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Sedro Woolley, Burlington, and Columbia Valley.

More northerly locations such as Ferndale, Custer, and Blaine are in a less-direct path of the smoke and air quality conditions at these locations are currently still GOOD to MODERATE.

Later Saturday and into Sunday, smoke that entered the area from the east will be pushed out over the Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean.

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Air quality conditions at most locations will likely see some improvement during this time as the smoke becomes diluted, but the smoke coverage will likely become more widespread and impact more northerly locations.

Dramatic improvement is forecast for Monday as the high-pressure system responsible for bringing smoke from east of the Cascades gradually moves east. Southwesterly winds will bring clean air from over the Pacific Ocean to help clear the area and we will see a return to GOOD air quality. Northwest Clean Air Agency (September 10, 2022)

As of 9am, the NWCAA air monitoring stations at Bellingham and Maple Falls/Columbia Valley reported air quality in the UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS range while the station at Custer/Lynden remained in the GOOD range.

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