5:55 PM Red Sun over the Yakima Valley

Sunshine or Smoke Shine?

After the smoke settled from Yakima's biggest bonfire Saturday, September 26th at the old Boise Cascade Mill- Today our air quality is worse than ever.

The bad credit is given to winds pushing smoke into the valley from a contained 800 acre fire just West of Yakima up at Bethel Ridge. In addition prescibed controlled burns have been in the works and are scheduled to continue.

For the past century, Firefighters and the Forest Service have aggressively fought fires bypassing natures ability to "clean up" the undergrowth and diseased trees. These forest fire fuels typically cause fires to burn hotter and damage the enviorment more than prescibed contolled burns do.

By managing and reducing fire fuels the goal is to promote a healthier forest and maintain natures balance. Fire resources are easier to managed in the early spring and fall with typically higher humidity allowing for slower or more controlled fire movement. The alternative is the emergency managment and containment of fires in the heat of the summer when fire resources are in demand and on overload putting the loss of firefighters and property at risk .

Managing fire behavior and contolling fires is easier than controlling the smoke they generate.

It's hopeful that shifting winds and anticipated rain showers on Tuesday may help clear the air.

Respitory issues have been noted among healthy individuals. People with a history of breathing problems should stay indoors and follow the advice of thier doctors.

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