Wildfire smoke has poured back into the Wenatchee and Cashmere areas, plunging air quality there back into the “hazardous” category, according to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology).
Both communities have been hammered by smoke carried by winds from area wildfires. Some afternoon clearing occurs when the inversion breaks and upvalley winds kick in. On Wednesday (Sept. 26), Entiat and Pateros showed air quality as “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” while air was “unhealthy” in Leavenworth. Twisp, Winthrop and Cle Elum (all “moderate”) showed the opposite trend, with increasing fine particle pollution levels recorded when winds during the day pushed smoke toward air quality monitors.
Monitors showed air quality was “unhealthy” in Trout Lake and Ellensburg, “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in Yakima and Toppenish, and “moderate” in White Swan and Goldendale. All of those communities saw an increase in fine particle pollution when the inversion broke. But they experienced some partial clearing later on Wednesday.