Air apparent: wildfire smoke shrouds region


September 16, 2020

THE SKY IS CLEAR IF YOU GET UP HIGH ENOUGH – Alex Free took his drone for a spin Friday. He offers this photo looking south at 6:52 p.m. from about 275 feet above the Moore Clark building in La Conner. Every day is a beautiful day. It is all a matter of perspective. – Photo courtesy of Alex Free

For months, efforts have been ongoing to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic.

But last weekend one could hardly see around corners as thick wildfire smoke from blazes in eastern Washington and Oregon came north to the Puget Sound region, hovering over La Conner and Skagit County, and pushing air quality to dangerous levels.

The local Air Quality Index (AQI) topped 250 on Sunday, the afternoon sun more resembling the moon as it tried shining through a heavy orange blanket of choking haze.

The popular La Conner boardwalk by then was uncharacteristically quiet for a September weekend,...

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