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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wildfire smoke returns to Spokane region

Wildfire smoke has returned over the Spokane region due to a change in air flow.

One air quality monitor in Spokane was registering moderately polluted air from wood smoke Tuesday morning.

The air quality index stood at 65 at the site at Augusta Avenue and Fiske Street.

Other Spokane-area sites that monitor smoke pollution were registering in the good range.

In Idaho, moderate smoke pollution was reported at three measuring sites, including Plummer, St. Maries and Pinehurst.

Moderate smoke pollution is in the forecast for Wednesday, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.

A light southerly flow may be allowing smoke from the 41,000-acre Rail fire in east-central Oregon to spread northward, said Robin Fox, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Spokane.

Changing winds in the lower atmosphere around Spokane may also be mixing local fire smoke into the air at ground level, she said.

Forecasters were also keeping an eye on a slight chance of thunderstorms Tuesday, but cooler temperatures and light winds should reduce fire risk overall. Rain showers are likely by Thursday night and Friday.