With drought conditions and record heat in Washington, it unfortunately looks like the trend of summer wildfires in Washington will continue this year. But there are steps you can take now to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.
Already, red flag fire warnings are going up in parts of the state, as even Western Washington looks to head for triple digits this weekend.
“Looking at the forecast coming up here, we might be on the precipice of another pretty significant season yet again,” Steve Ready with the National Weather Service told KIRO Radio.
He noted wildfire season used to start in July, but in recent years, it is trending earlier. And while the state’s snowpack was in good shape earlier this month, that is quickly changing with this week’s hot temperatures, leading to drier conditions.
Wildfire smoke ruins Redmond winery’s entire 2020 vintage
With wildfire smoke comes a whole host of health dangers, as exposure to smoke — even for just a few days in an otherwise pristine state — can be very damaging to your health.
“That week that we had smoke last year, September 2020, those concentrations made up about one-third of the pollution for the entire year in one week,” said Graeme Carvlin, air resource specialist at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
Carvlin noted that for the elderly, small children, pregnant women, and especially for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma, wildfire smoke can increase the chances of getting very sick or can potentially be fatal. And even those who are young and

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