Smoke in the air

On Wednesday, Aug. 2, the Northwest Washington state was inundated by a cloud of smoke from wildfires across the region.

“Today (Aug. 2) was one of the smokiest days ever in western Washington as the surge of smoke from the fires in British Columbia continued to push southward,” wrote local meteorologist, blogger and professor Cliff Mass.

Seattle’s air quality index was a “high” rated 156 on the afternoon of Aug. 2, according to AirNow. At the time, China’s largest cities had better air quality than Seattle. Beijing’s air quality index was a “moderate” 80, Shanghai was 78, according to the World Air Quality Index Project.

Washington Smoke Information (, a multi-agency blog that monitors smoke-related air quality, has been updating its blog with daily reports. As of press-time, there is no foreseeable end to the smokiness.

The smoke in the region primarily originated from near Williams Lake, British Columbia, where several fires are currently burning. More information about the status of those fires is available at