July 18, 2014 in Region

Smoky air should stick around through Sunday

By The Spokesman-Review

Little relief is in sight for firefighters trying to contain major wildfires in Central Washington.

Hot temperatures and gusting winds are predicted again Saturday after a lightning storm on Monday triggered new blazes across the region.

In Brewster, where firefighters are trying to save hundreds of homes and businesses, the forecast calls for a high of 89 and wind gusts tonight peaking at 23 mph Saturday. Winds should increase to gusts at 32 mph Saturday night at the fire scene.

National Weather Service forecasters said that cooler marine air spilling over the Cascades has increased humidity levels, giving only a small help to fire suppression work. A “red-flag” alert for fire danger remains in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday. An air quality alert remained in effect through the weekend across the Inland Northwest.

Winds near the fire Saturday will move from the northwest to the west, changing the pattern of smoke dispersal.

The winds should ease on Sunday when a high of 90 is expected.

In Spokane, air quality improved early Friday, but then deteriorated during the evening to a rating of unhealthy for the general population. Smoke is expected through Sunday at least.

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