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Talk about extended stay… Just how long will this smoke hang around?

How to keep safe in the smoky haze

Dr. Andrew Parker, from the Bellingham Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Clinic, gives some tips on staying healthy while Whatcom County is covered in smoky haze from forest fires in Eastern Washington and Montana.
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Dr. Andrew Parker, from the Bellingham Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Clinic, gives some tips on staying healthy while Whatcom County is covered in smoky haze from forest fires in Eastern Washington and Montana.

Smoke from wildfires in Eastern Washington and Montana continue to linger over Whatcom County, but it should clear out soon.

Winds moving west Friday are expected to help flush out smoke for Western Washington, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s air quality program manager.

There is a 30 percent chance of rain Friday through the night and 50 percent chance on Saturday.

Bellingham’s high temperature Friday is forecast in the upper 60s, with overnight low in the 50s, according to the National Weather Service.

The Weather Service’s air quality alert expired Thursday at noon, although air quality conditions remained “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in Bellingham, “moderate” in Lynden and “unhealthy” in Columbia Valley, according to Northwest Clean Air Agency readings from noon on Thursday. Sensitive groups include children, the elderly and those who have respiratory conditions.

The Washington State Department of Ecology recommends people in areas with an unhealthy rating, such as Columbia Valley, limit time spent outdoors, particularly exercising. Those with asthma, respiratory infection, lung or heart disease, diabetes or a history of stokes, as well as young children, pregnant women and older adults are advised to stay indoors.

Bellingham has gone 83 days without wetting rain, defined by meteorologists as more than one-tenth of an inch. This trend will likely continue Friday – the rain forecast in Western Washington is expected to be no more than one-tenth of an inch.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources extended its burn ban Tuesday to cover the entire state. As of Thursday morning, there were four uncontained large wildfires burning in Washington, the most active being Diamond Creek, Jolly Mountain and Norse Peak, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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