Graham Fire

This photo was posted by Graham Fire and Rescue with the following message: "This is one of the burned out homes from the brush fire that exploded overnight in Graham. Crews have the fire under control and are working to contain it."

Easterly winds carrying wildfire smoke from Eastern and Central Washington made for miserable overnight air quality in parts of Western Washington that will continue Tuesday morning.

The stench of smoke is expected to begin clearing by afternoon as those easterly winds dissipate, said Samantha Borth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Seattle.

The smoke cruised into the Seattle area Monday evening and kept up all night long.

"It came in pretty quickly, and we still have some gusty winds and can expect smoke through the morning," Borth said. "But by 11 or so, those winds will stop."

Sunrise looked more like sunset on Tuesday morning, with the sun rising big and orange, and casting coppery light over the morning landscape, as the sun's rays filtered through smoke.

Air quality was reported as unhealthy around Seattle in alerts by the state Department of Ecology on Tuesday morning.

The gusty winds on Monday also left Puget Sound Energy with lots of work to do, restoring power around the region, on Tuesday morning.

The wind caused mayhem in Graham overnight, with 8 houses burned and 100 people evacuated, as multiple brush fires exploded around South Sound, according to Graham Fire and Rescue. No injuries were reported.

Brush fires in Sumner and Bonny Lake also closed a portion of SR 167 southbound near milepost 9, south of 24th Street East at 7:29 a.m. until further notice, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced.

Many parts of the state are in for hot, dry weather this week, which will sustain critical fire conditions. Areas in the southwest and the interior will see temperatures into the 90s. Seattle, which normally enjoys temperatures in the 70s at this time of year, will instead be in the upper 80s.

The weather service has issued a warning that elderly people, children, people experiencing homelessness and those with health issues are at risk because of the heat. It is especially important not to leave children or pets in a car or outdoors unattended.

The extended outlook is for a switch from offshore flow to onshore flow, which will cool temperatures somewhat on Friday and Saturday. But temperatures will still be warmer than normal.

The Cold Springs Canyon/Pearl Hill fire burning in north-central Washington forced evacuation orders Monday that then were canceled by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office because smoke conditions were so bad that it was not safe to drive on any of the roads out of the area. People were instead advised to shelter in place or seek refuge in the Mansfield School gymnasium.

The fire was first reported at 9:30 p.m. Sunday near Omak and has since jumped the Columbia River to continue burning in Douglas County.

Meanwhile, the Evans Canyon fire was 60% contained by Monday evening, covering almost 76,000 acres or 118 square miles. It started Aug. 31 in the Wenas Valley and has been burning in tall grass, brush and timber in Yakima and Kittitas counties. The cause remains under investigation. The Yakima Health District warned residents to stay indoors and use HEPA filters due to poor air quality.


(c)2020 The Seattle Times

Visit The Seattle Times at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.