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September 2012 fires: Could thick valley smoke happen again

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WENATCHEE — In September of 2012, conditions were just right for a smoky mess.

The forest was dry. The air was stagnant.

And 4,000 lightning strikes were recorded on Sept. 8 in North Central Washington.

By the end of the month, 115,000 acres of forest and grassland had burned and residents were weary of breathing smoke — lots of smoke, enough to close Cashmere schools and prompt people of all breathing abilities to wear face masks.

Could it happen again?

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