Smoke from Central Washington wildfires is dimming the horizon throughout Washington today, obscuring the crispness that is so common on a sunny summer day in Seattle. It also raises air quality concerns throughout the region and provides a clear example of the links between forest management, pests, and climate change in the forests I cherish.
Wenatchee wildfires have near- and far-reaching effects
As reported on KUOW’s Weekday this morning, grassland and timber wildfires near Wenatchee have raised the Haze Index to a 6 in the area (listen to 1:00 to 11:33). The reduced air quality is a problem for sensitive populations such as those with respiratory conditions, as well as firefighters who are getting “kettle cough” from the smoke. Even in Seattle, Janet Pierce, Spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), suggested sensitive populations should be cautious about the air quality and check the news for updates (current air quality is also available from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency).
Air quality is not the only issue facing ...