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Miss the sunrise? Thank those smoky skies

Haze from forest fires in Eastern Washington and Montana covers Bellingham looking west from Alabama hill Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.
Haze from forest fires in Eastern Washington and Montana covers Bellingham looking west from Alabama hill Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

Hazy skies obscured the sunrise for Whatcom County residents as smoke from wildfires east of the Cascades settled over Western Washington.

Air quality in most areas of Whatcom County remained “good” Tuesday morning, according to information at the Northwest Clean Air Agency’s website. Air quality in Bellingham and in the Columbia Valley around Maple Falls was “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” a category that includes younger and older people and those who have respiratory difficulties. Air quality in the rest of Whatcom and Skagit counties was listed as “good.”

An air-quality alert was issued for Western Washington, including Whatcom County, through 6 p.m. Tuesday. Air quality should improve Wednesday as cooler air pushes east off the Salish Sea.

Smoke was coming from fires in Eastern Washington and in Montana, the National Weather Service said.

This forecast from the National Weather Service shows wildfire smoke stretching across the country for the next few days.

Farther south, residents of Seattle and Everett found ash on their cars Tuesday, according to various media accounts.

Tuesday’s high temperature was 81, cooler than the 87 degrees that set a record Monday. Normal high for the date is 70.

Wednesday’s high is forecast in the upper 70s with overnight lows in the 60s, according to the Weather Service. There’s a 40 percent chance of showers Thursday with a high of 75 degrees.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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