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The haze isn’t going away. Thanks, wildfires.

Map shows smoke drifting over Pacific Northwest from multiple wildfires

A map generated from satellite imagery shows the spread of wildfire smoke across the Pacific Northwest and the forecast for Tuesday, Aug. 14. Air quality in the region ranged from unhealthy for sensitive groups to moderate.
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A map generated from satellite imagery shows the spread of wildfire smoke across the Pacific Northwest and the forecast for Tuesday, Aug. 14. Air quality in the region ranged from unhealthy for sensitive groups to moderate.

The smoky haze is back, and regional air quality has dropped to its lowest level this year.

Nineteen wildfires are burning across more than 300,000 acres in Washington and Oregon, filling the skies with thick smoke. Officials said fires from British Columbia also are sending smoke our way.

On Tuesday, air in the Olympia area registered as unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to the Washington Smoke Information page. It was rated unhealthy closer to the coast and near Seattle.

Air quality should improve a bit and hover around moderate by Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

A high pressure ridge moved in Monday, meaning warmer temperatures and drier conditions.

“This poor air quality condition will continue until there is a significant change in weather pattern,” according to the Smoke Information page.

Temperatures will stay in the 80s until Thursday, when they dip into the upper 70s.

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A special weather statement issued by the National Weather Service was in effect through Tuesday, warning about degrading air quality.

Children, elderly folks and those with respiratory illnesses are the most at risk.

Smoke may cause irritation in your eyes, throat and nose, as well as wheezing, coughing, headaches and shortness of breath, the state Department of Health warned.

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