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Wildfire smoke clearing in U.S. West as storms move through

Wildfire smoke clearing in U.S. West as storms move through

ASSOCIATED PRESS – KEITH RIDLER

Storms brought cooler and wetter weather into the Western and Northwestern U.S. this weekend, breaking up a temperature inversion that had blanketed much of the region with acrid smoke from dozens of wildfires.

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise said Saturday they expected fire activity to decrease over the next several weeks. Center spokeswoman Kari Cobb says air quality should improve as the smoke-trapping inversion breaks up.

“We should see it lifting more today,” she said Saturday. “It’s predicted to be mostly gone by tomorrow in most of the West.”

She said forecasters expect storms to bring some lightning and winds to 30 mph, notably in Montana, but that rain and higher humidity should decrease the chances of new fires.

The center says there are 67 active large wildfires being fought.

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