Air quality to worsen in Northwest as smoke returns

Seattle in the smoke, courtesy of Mike Reid Photography

SEATTLE (AP) — Forecasters are warning of unhealthy air in parts of the Pacific Northwest as winds push smoke from surrounding wildfires into the region.

The National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts for much of Washington state.

The service says air quality in Western Washington is expected to worsen starting Sunday. Some improvement is expected by Wednesday.

An air quality alert is also in place across Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The service says smoke from fires in British Columbia is expected to drift into Washington and Idaho, causing unhealthy air levels through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air pollution advisory for southern Oregon that remains in effect until further notice.

Officials say air quality over the area is poor because of smoke from wildfires and terrain that traps smoke in valleys.