Winds from the northwest are blowing smoke from fires in British Columbia into the Puget Sound, lowering air quality throughout the region.

An air quality alert was issued Thursday for Whatcom, Skagit, Island, Jefferson and Clallam counties, according to the National Weather Service Seattle.

Air quality remained good through most of the east side of Lake Washington on Thursday afternoon and moderate in Seattle, Tacoma and Everett. Air quality was reported to be unhealthy for sensitive groups in much of Kitsap County and unhealthy in Sequim.

To see the most up to date air quality readings as well as the individual sensors, go to AirNow’s Fire and Smoke map.

On Friday morning, we may see a few hours of much more intense smoke as a plume from the Schneider Springs Fire, northwest of Naches, Yakima County, passes over central Puget Sound, according to the Washington Smoke Information blog, a partnership between state, county, federal agencies, and Indian tribes to collectively share smoke information.

How to prepare for wildfire smoke in your home, car and while outdoors

Once that passes, smoke agencies are predicting most of the Puget Sound’s air quality will be moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups through Saturday, when the wind direction will shift to westerly.

“The good news is that this is likely to be a short-lived exposure,” Washington Smoke Information posted on its blog. “A cold front arriving Sunday should blow all of this smoke out, and air quality should begin improving Saturday even before the full front arrives.”