Wildfire smoke and high-risk fire conditions likely over the weekend

Low humidity, gusty winds and high temperatures mean if a fire starts, it will spread rapidly.

King County and much of the Puget Sound is under a “red flag” warning for critical fire conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

From noon Sept. 9 until midnight on Saturday, Sept. 10, the region is expected to experience gusty winds, high temperatures and low humidity. These are perfect conditions for fires to start and spread rapidly, according to the National Weather Service.

Due to these conditions, the National Weather Service advises against outdoor burning during the weekend.

In addition to fire-friendly conditions, winds from the north and northeast will likely push smoke from wildfires in the Cascades and British Columbia into the Puget Sound lowlands over the weekend. This will bring an end to the relatively smoke-free summer we’ve enjoyed so far.

As of Friday afternoon, air quality in parts of Kent, Renton and Auburn are listed as moderate with an air quality index between 50 and 60, according to AirNow Fire and Smoke Map. An air quality index of 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups and anything above 150 is unhealthy for everyone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying indoors and using an air filter to protect yourself from wildfire smoke. You can monitor the air quality in your area on Airnow.gov

King County Fire Chiefs issued a Stage 2 burn ban on Friday which prohibits recreational fires until further notice. Use of propane or natural-gas fired grills, fireplaces and other appliances is still permitted.