A thin veil of smoke drifted south from wildfires in British Columbia to settle over much of Washington State on July 28, 2004. The densely populated Puget Sound region, the grey strip of cities including Seattle and Tacoma that runs from north to south along the black finger of the Puget Sound, does not appear to be seriously impacted. The Environmental Protection Agency rated the air quality as “moderate” on July 28, one rating down from “good” for many areas in Washington, though communities in eastern Washington warned the elderly and young children to stay indoors. Smoke began to move over the area on Monday, July 26, when winds blew smoke out of the northwest. The pattern was expected to hold for much of the week.
Acquired August 19, 2009, this true-color image shows thick smoke from fires in southern British Columbia clouding skies over Vancouver, Seattle, and Spokane. The image also shows a dramatic transition in land cover between eastern and western Washington.