Environment
11:19 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Smoke Creating Vicious Cycle In NW Skies, Says Forecaster

The fight against numerous large fires in central Washington is turning the corner. Since the weekend, fire bosses have been able to release nearly 400 firefighters from the blazes near Wenatchee.

But forecasters say it may be a while before the Inland Northwest sees clear, blue skies again.

U.S. Forest Service researcher Miriam Rorig  says smoke projections show poor conditions east of the Cascades hanging on through the week and spreading into north Idaho.

“With all the smoke in the air it sets up almost a negative feedback loop," she says. "When you have this situation where we’re not getting as much sunlight, it makes it more difficult for the air to mix, and it just keeps the smoke that much closer to the ground.”

Washington health officials re-issued health warnings for cities on the eastern flank of the Cascades. On the West side of the state, Rorig says the smoke will likely remain high enough to cause little more than colorful sunsets.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network