Smoke that caused vibrant Puget Sound sunset not likely to affect air quality

May 30, 2019, 5:54 PM
Sunset puget sound...
Vibrant sunsets from smoke are not all uncommon in the Northwest.(National Weather Service)
(National Weather Service)

Did you like Wednesday night’s sunset? That was thanks to wildfires in Alberta, Canada, that had the sun and skies in the Puget Sound region taking on a vibrant pinkish hue.

‘Unprecedented’ wildfire season has begun in Washington

The beauty of sunsets like Wednesday’s has typically come paired with poor air quality produced by smoke. At least this time around, though, the region should get off easy.

“The air quality is still mostly good, [and] the smoke that is here is probably going to blow out of here in the next couple days,” National Weather Service’s Gary Schneider told KIRO Radio.

That means for now, the haze won’t reach last summer’s levels, when wildfire smoke in Canada, Washington, and California choked the entire region.

As for the rest of the summer, state officials have been adamant in their warnings regarding wildfires.

“Unfortunately, we are likely to see even more significant fires and more significant smoke this year,” Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz told the Candy, Mike and Todd Show.

Franz noted that Washington state had seen 170 wildfires this year through May 10, more than half of which occurred west of the Cascades.

To counter this, the state Legislature recently approved a record $50 million in its recent budget, and Congress and President Donald Trump approved $2 billion over the next eight years. That federal money is available starting this season.

KIRO Radio Staff contributed to this report

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Smoke that caused vibrant Puget Sound sunset not likely to affect air quality