In this Aug. 19 photo, flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires jump I-80 in Vacaville, California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

In this Aug. 19 photo, flames from the LNU Lightning Complex fires jump I-80 in Vacaville, California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

High smoke from California fires not expected to be a hazard

The high-altitude plume is expected to cover most of Western Washington into the weekend.

EVERETT — The air might look hazy this weekend as a plume of smoke from fires in California blankets Puget Sound.

The smoke is high in the atmosphere, so it shouldn’t affect air quality on the ground, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency forecaster Graeme Carvlin said. But that could change if a high-pressure weather system, which brings sun and still air, also comes to town.

Most of the smoke originated from fires north and south of San Francisco, Carvlin said. Those fires kicked smoke up into the atmosphere and then out over the Pacific Ocean. Now it’s curling back toward the Washington coast. The plume is large enough to cover most of western Washington.

The smoke plume was predicted to show up in the Everett area Thursday and stick around until the weekend before winds push it east, Carvlin said.

“We will probably be able to see it,” he said. “If you look up, it’ll look hazy.”

But since the plume is so high, it shouldn’t cause watery eyes or scratchy throats.

Locals should avoid burning outdoor fires and adding to the smoke, Carvlin said.

Those with preexisting health conditions should make a clean air space in their homes in case the smoke drops low enough to cause breathing problems. To do so, close all the windows and doors to one room and use an air cleaner. Or make an air cleaner with a box fan and a furnace filter, Carvlin said.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency will post up-to-date information on the smoke plume’s progression at pscleanair.gov.

Julia-Grace Sanders: 425-339-3439; jgsanders@heraldnet.com.

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