Bolt Creek Fire wildfire smoke returns to Seattle area, will last through Thursday officials say
As summer temperatures return this week, another not-so-beloved part of Pacific Northwest summers is back for another time this season — wildfire smoke.
Residents of some parts of King and Snohomish Counties woke up to hazy skies and the smell of a campfire Sept. 19, drifting over from the Bolt Creek Fire between Gold Bar and Skykomish.
The Bolt Creek Fire has been burning since Sept. 10 and has grown to 10,220 acres as of Monday morning, according to the Department of Natural Resources Wildfire dashboard.
Offshore flow is pushing smoke westward from the Bolt Creek Fire…especially into Snohomish County this morning.
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) September 19, 2022
The smoke wafted out of most of the Seattle area by late afternoon, but the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says we can expect more wildfire smoke this week, lasting through Thursday. Air quality levels should reach moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with respiratory diseases.
“It clears out and you think, ‘oh, we might be done, and then the wind changes and it smells like there’s a fire in your house,'” said one woman who drove from Monroe to Lake Forest Park to escape the smoke.
She said that her toddler-aged daughter has been waking up congested every morning since the Bolt Creek Fire started, and her husband, who suffers from asthma, has had to wear a mask outdoors.
The smoke should clear out by Friday, Sept. 23, when rain and cooler temperatures return — but for fans of summer who were expecting one more bout of warm, sunny days, it is a disappointment.
“I’m not excited, because it’s the last few days of nice weather, and now it’s smoky,” the Monroe resident said.
The good news? After the rain on Friday, temperatures are expected to go back up to the 70s once more over the weekend and early next week.