Seattle air quality on verge of major shift - back to normal

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The National Weather Service is predicting a rise in onshore air flow, sweeping plumes of wildfire smoke toward the east (sorry about that, Wenatchee) and moderating temperatures.

Looking west from Shaganappi Trail at Bowness Road, the Canada Olympic Park ski jump was nearly totally obscured by smoke from B.C. wildfires on Thursday morning. As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Environment Canada rated Calgary's air quality at 8, which is considered high risk.

On Thursday morning, Portland ranked second with an air quality index of 159.

"That's going to continue like that and it's just going to get worse for the next 24 hours", Carlsen said.

The blanket of smoke also held in heat during the night, leading to overnight low temperatures that were about 10 degrees above what they might have otherwise been, Mass said.

As for the rest of the public, they should consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if they experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

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"You can't hold as much air in your lungs, that's the natural part of the aging process, but it means the smoke might have more effect on you than a healthy younger person, especially if you happen to have some chronic disease", Henderson said.

Teck Resources temporarily shut down its lead smelting operations in Trail, saying a supplier plant that provides oxygen is closed due to poor air quality that is affecting lead smelting.

Tower said Monday had been a "really successful day" for firefighters working at Shovel Lake and the nearby Island Lake fire, despite the challenges posed by smoke and ash in the sky.

"We're getting finally a change in the air mass and actually that change is here to stay well through the weekend and into the beginning of next week", Meteorologist with Environment Canada Matt McDonald said.

Thursday's weather forecast calls for smoke to continue clearing with a high of 68 degrees in Bellingham.