NCW — The air quality in Wenatchee has been downgraded to moderate as a pair of wildfires continue to send smoke into the region.
As the fires are fueled by high temperatures and low humidity, the smoke here will likely continue until at least Friday, said meteorologist Rocco Pelatti of the National Weather Service Spokane.
Wenatchee is expected to pass 100 degrees tomorrow and Wednesday, which prompted the Weather Service to issue a heat advisory on Monday afternoon. It'll be in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s pretty hot and it’s pretty dry, so it’s just a matter of where the winds are going to take this smoke,” he said.
The largest source is the Williams Flats Fire, which is burning about 85 miles northeast of Wenatchee, near Keller. It’s grown to 13,497 acres and is estimated to be 20% contained, according to the Northwest Interagency Communications Center.
Its plume of smoke has hit at least 10,000 feet and winds are pushing it in a southwest direction, Pelatti said.
Read more: Washington smoke information
A blaze in southern British Columbia called the Eagle Bluff Fire is also contributing to Wenatchee’s haze, Pellatti said.
“The winds are taking (the smoke) down the Okanogan and it’s just kind of been smearing around,” he said. “Wenatchee is getting hit some from both of those fires.”
The valley’s air quality index was listed as 57 on Monday morning, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That puts it in the moderate category, which is one level worse than its status on Sunday.
Washington Department of Ecology issued an Air Quality Alert for seven Central Washington counties, including Douglas and Okanogan on Monday afternoon.
And the region’s wind pattern will likely keep the area hazy until Friday, when a thunderstorm is expected to lower temperatures and change wind patterns, Pelatti said.
“I think you’re going to still get smoke, if the fires stay big, until at least Friday. Then Friday night we might have thunder and it’ll be cooler,” he said.