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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 25, 2012 at 1:19 PM

A bit of relief from poor air quality east of the mountains

Air quality in wildfire areas in Eastern Washington has been hazardous for nearly two weeks, but right now things are looking up: no hazardous reports at the moment.

The state Department of Ecology says Trout Lake, Winthrop, Omak, Chelan and Entiat are still unhealthy, while Wenatchee, Cashmere, Twisp, White Swan and Toppenish have moved up to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

What’s more, the air quality in Ellensburg, Cle Elum, Quincy, Leavenworth and Yakima is listed as good.

The only place where things remain dicey is Pateros, which is a bit sheltered and smoke may be pooling there, according to the Ecology Department.

A weather system moving through Eastern Washington at the moment should help keep smoke levels in check through this evening, according to Ecology Department meteorologist Ranil Dhammapala.

“Sadly this improvement is short lived: a building ridge will cause a return to stagnant conditions through Friday,” Dhammapala said in a news release. “Strong nighttime inversions and light winds will ensure smoke sloshes around and causes the kind of impacts we have been living with over the last two weeks.”

The National Weather Service issued has an Air Quality Alert for all of Eastern Washington:

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: air quality, Eastern Washington, wildfires

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