Contributed photo The sun is blocked by smoke over Speiden Island.

Smoke haze covers San Juans

Where there’s smoke in San Juan County, there’s fire in British Columbia.

At least that’s been the case since Monday, July 31, when wildfires from the Columbia Mountain to Vancouver Island started to cast a steady smoke haze over the San Juans. A representative from the Seattle office for the National Weather Service said the smoke will likely stay until Saturday, Aug. 5, as the wind is too light to disperse it.

NWS staff has issued air quality warnings throughout the week, stating those with respiratory issues should stay indoors.

They predicted highs in the upper 70s throughout the week, but the haze, blocking the sun, has lowered them by a few degrees.

“The smoke kind of acts like a cloud,” said NWS Meteorologist Johnny Burg.

NWS records show visibility in the San Juans has ranged from five miles to 10, since July 31. Visibility, said Burg, measures the distance of unobstructed views.

University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Professor Cliff Mass has called the event “Smokezilla.”

For more information from Mass, visit For updates on air quality, visit

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