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Relief from wildfire smoke’s impact on air quality could begin today (Sunday)

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — National Weather Service forecasters in the Seattle office said early Sunday, September 11th, that a transition to back to westerly winds was already beginning and is expected to increase during the remainder of the day. This is expected stop the flow of wildfire smoke from the east as well as push out smoke already in the area.

An air quality alert issued by the Northwest Clean Air Agency remains in effect until 6pm today.

As of 6am this morning, air quality conditions were reported in the UNHEALTHY range by air monitoring stations in Bellingham and Maple Falls while a station in west Lynden/Custer was reporting in the GOOD range.

Bellingham air quality reported as of 6am (September 11, 2022)
Maple Falls/Columbia Valley air quality reported as of 6am (September 11, 2022)
Maple Falls/Columbia Valley air quality reported as of 6am (September 11, 2022)
W Lynden/Custer air quality reported as of 6am (September 11, 2022)
W Lynden/Custer air quality reported as of 6am (September 11, 2022)

Forecasters expect a return to GOOD air quality for most areas west of the Cascade Range by Monday.

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The onshore winds are also expected to provide additional relief from recent warming with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s in the inland areas of Whatcom County beginning Monday.

Low air quality has mostly been the result of wildfire smoke from the Goat Rocks Fire (White Pass/US Highway 12) southeast of Mount Rainier and the Bolt Creek Fire (Stevens Pass/US Highway 2). Dry and windy Red Flag conditions have resulted in these becoming very active fires with immediate evacuation orders being issued around both.

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