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Haze over Western Washington caused by wildfire smoke

The air quality in Western Washington is expected to get worse before it improves later this week.

Clearer skies are coming, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see them.

Winds brought smoke from wildfires in Canada and Eastern Washington over Western Washington skies late Monday and Tuesday, according to KING 5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott.

The air quality in Western Washington reached "unhealthy for everyone" levels at many air monitoring sites on Tuesday. Wednesday is starting with many places reporting “very unhealthy for everyone." Puget Sound Clear Air Agency says these are the highest particulate levels so far this summer.

Related: Worst air quality of the year due to wildfire smoke across Puget Sound

The Department of Ecology has issued unhealthy air quality alerts east of the Cascades through most of this month.

When asked if the smoky conditions are going to be the new normal every summer, Andrew Winnikee with Department of Ecology said the trend is pointing in that direction.

“This is somewhat of what you would expect with climate change. You would expect higher temperatures, more wildfires, and certainly more smoke even in Western Washington,” Winikki said. “But it’s hard to pin down any one event of that, but certainly the trend is pointed in that direction.”

Julie Fox with the Department of Health said those at the greatest risk include infants, pregnant women, heart and lung patients and those over 65.

Fox said those populations, and the people responsible for them should watch out for symptoms, everything from watery eyes to chest tightness.

State Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said her agency has been told the fire season will last into October, due to dry, hot conditions.

Franz said lightning strikes over the weekend sparked 70 fire starts in Eastern or Central Washington.

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