Residents of nearly every corner of Washington will breathe easy on Sunday as smoke begins to clear on the East side of the state. Westerly winds on Saturday swept away the smoke from the state’s West side.
“Just about every sensor in Washington state has good air quality except for three up in the northeast corner of the state which have moderate,” said Mike McFarland, meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Seattle, on Sunday. “But, after having unhealthy air, moderate probably seems pretty good over there.”
The Seattle metro area got a trace to two-thirds of an inch of rain over the past 24-hours, McFarland said – the second day in a row the region has seen a decent amount of rain.
More is expected. A couple of wet systems are expected to move into Washington on Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected to fall in the mountains; Seattle and surrounding areas can expect a half inch to 1 inch, McFarland said.
The rain should keep smoke from California and Oregon wildfires from creeping up to Washington, McFarland said. It took a “special set of circumstances” to bring it past the state’s borders over the past few weeks.
“I think now that it’s out of here there will be some hand-wringing,” he said. “It’s not going to come back like it did before.”
In Washington, firefighters are battling several major blazes, including:
Cold Springs fire, 189,923 acres, 3 miles south of Omak, 95% contained
Big Hollow fire, 24,788 acres, 15 miles northwest of Carson, 50% contained
Inchelium Complex, 19,399 acres, 1 mile north of Inchelium, 75% contained
Cold Creek fire, 626 acres, 38 miles west of Yakima, 28% contained