Wildfire smoke produces “unhealthy” conditions in some areas of the US Northwest and British Columbia

wildfire smoke map

Above: The distribution of wildfire smoke, current as of 2:09 p.m. MDT August 3, 2017.

(Originally published at 2:50 p.m. MDT August 3, 2017)

Smoke from wildfires in the United States Northwest and southern British Columbia is accumulating in those areas causing, in some areas, significant degradations in air quality. In British Columbia many massive fires combined with light winds has resulted in the smoke not being transported out of the area.

air quality smoke united states
Air quality August 3, 2017 for western Canada and parts of Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Some areas in BC, western Montana, and the western portions of Washington and Oregon have “unhealthy” air quality today, according to Air Now.

air quality smoke west canada

Information on a BC government website today shows that the air quality in Williams Lake and Kamloops is virtually off the charts and is described as “Very High Health Risk”.

Much of this near-real time air quality information is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, which some politicians want to completely shut down.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Wildfire smoke produces “unhealthy” conditions in some areas of the US Northwest and British Columbia”

  1. The sad thing is, while we will get some shift in wind and rain at some point, the underlying problem remains. Our politicians’ unequivocal determination to push the fossil fuel addiction, and the consequences of such policy: drier winters. warmer summers, more ferocious forest fires. It’s heartbreaking.

  2. Richard,
    Is says clearly at the top of Mr Gabbert’s web site Wildfire News and opinion.
    The world has chosen to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement for a very good reason. Happily
    most of the states are going to continue to implement the necessary changes to meet our end of the agreement. It does not matter that you choose to remain ignorant to the facts concerning climate change. We are going to go ahead without you and we will succeed.

    This is an excerpt from the New York Times concerning a study about to be published by Federal Scientists

    “Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” the report states. “Thousands of studies conducted by tens of thousands of scientists around the world have documented changes in surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice; rising sea level; and an increase in atmospheric water vapor. Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate changes.”

    As Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

    Thank you for having this valuable website.


  3. Why would you interject a political bias into a factual report? “is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, which some politicians want to completely shut down.” What does this spectulative opinion have to do with this report?

    1. The bias I have is making air quality information readily available to the public, especially when the air is “unhealthy” to breathe. Citizens, especially those with certain medical conditions, have a need to know this information so they can make decisions that can affect their health.

      And it is not a “speculative opinion”. It is a FACT that a small number of people want to completely shut down the EPA. Hiding that FACT is not in the best interests of the health and well being of the population.


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