SEATTLE (AP) — Wildfire smoke made the air quality unhealthy for everyone in downtown and North Seattle on Wednesday, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said.
The agency says wind sent a plume of smoke from the Bolt Creek fire near Skykomish west to Everett and south into parts of Seattle, The Seattle Times reported.
Air quality was listed as unhealthy for sensitive groups in parts of Pierce and Snohomish counties, but reported to be good to the west throughout Kitsap County.
The National Weather Service in Seattle said the smoke is expected to stay in the Puget Sound region at least through Thursday, when wind from off the coast is expected to start clearing it out.
Drier, warmer weather this week was causing the fire to creep and smolder more in vegetation, creating more smoke, fire officials said. The fire has burned 15.9 square miles (41 square kilometers) since it started on Sept. 10.
Crews are working toward reopening Highway 2 near the wildfire by next Monday, transportation officials said on Twitter. Arborists with Washington State Parks removed 50 to 60 burned trees near the road Wednesday morning, officials said.
“They continue to remove burned roadside trees that still pose a threat to public safety,” officials said.