Earlier this week, a lightning storm passing through central Washington sparked dozens of wildfires. Some of the smoke from that region traveled all the way to the metro Spokane area where it caused the worse air conditions in the past two years.
That smoke is visible from NASA's Aqua satellite which captured this image of our state earlier this week on September 10.
The Apache Pass fire about 17 miles southwest of Creston is visible on the right side of the photograph. It has reportedly burned about 20,000 acres of land and is only 30 percent contained.
NASA officials say more than 8.2 million acres of land have burned throughout the United States so far this year making it one of the most severe wildfire seasons in the last decade. The only year in the last decade when more acres had burned by September 11 was 2006; at that point in the season that year, nearly 8.7 million acres had burned.
The air quality in the Spokane area is starting to clear up despite the continuing wildfires. The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency currently lists the air quality index at 33 - which means "good".