Smoke comes to the Wenatchee Valley early this year, thanks to fires in Canada

Photo courtesy Alberta provincial government

Yes, that haze that’s been hanging over the Wenatchee Valley and beyond is wildfire smoke.


And once again, it’s coming from Canada.

Smoky skies in North Central Washington have become a regular summer occurrence. But it usually doesn’t usually show up until later in the summer.

But this rare May smoke is coming from numerous wildfires burning out of control in northern Alberta. Most of the biggest fires are in remote areas. Still, about 10,000 people in several small Alberta towns are under evacuation orders.

Depending on wind conditions, the Canadian smoke has been thickest in the United States over parts of Montana, with some making its way as far west as Seattle.

The good news is, the smoke hasn’t yet made Wenatchee’s air quality any worse than moderate.

At moderate, the air quality is acceptable but there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

The number of fires in Alberta and their intensity could mean an extended period of haze and smoke in the area, depending on wind conditions.

For now, it’s merely hazy hills and an occasional whiff of wildfire smoke.