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Smoke from fires in Cascades returns to Puget Sound area and may linger

by Elise Takahama, Seattle Times |

SEATTLE – The unrelenting wildfire smoke is back again, and will likely stick around through the weekend.

As the region continues to battle active fires in the Cascade Mountains in the Methow, Wenatchee and western mountain valleys, the Puget Sound area could continue to see hazy skies and “moderate” smoke through Sunday, according to the Washington Smoke blog run by state, county and federal agencies.

“It may be October, but it’s clear we’re not out of the woods when it comes to wildfire smoke and the dangers it can bring,” said Kaitlyn Kelly, air quality policy specialist for the state Department of Health, in a statement.

Kelly added, “While some parts of the state are experiencing unhealthy levels of air quality, we’re also worried about the impacts of lower levels of smoke for extended periods of time. Don’t wait until you start feeling symptoms to act.”

While wildfire smoke usually hits the state in August and September, Washington’s count of average fine particle concentrations is higher than it usually is in October this year, the blog said.