Compare this situation to last year, when there were already a number of large fires in British Columbia. As shown by the NOAA HRRR smoke model, the air is smoke-free over the Northwest (there are fires over the Southwest)
Looking more broadly, the Year to Date fire statistics for the entire U.S. (from the U.S. Interagency Fire Center) shows that there have been less fires and less acreage burned this year than any time in at least 10 years (see below). But for the Northwest, it is even better than that, since most of the fires so far have been Alaska.
A key factor in this smoke free situation has been the normal weather conditions with precipitation and clouds that we have "enjoyed" much of the month. Of particular note has been a persistent trough of low pressure over the region the last few weeks. As a result, fuel moistures have been reasonable and the official North American fire danger map shows low danger over much of the Northwest, BC, and Alberta.
Proof of this benign situation has been the lack of fire starts after we got hit hard by lightning the last few days. For example, here are the lightning strikes during the past two days from the national lightning network. Impressive for our region.
And the precipitation and clouds are not over. Although we will have breaks with sunny skies and normal temperatures, the trough is going to hang around. The European Center ensemble for precipitation through 5 AM Monday July 8th, shows plenty of precipitation in BC and northern WA. over the next 10 days.
At this point, it is becoming clear that there won't be a big early start to the fire season in BC. Southern Oregon and N. CA have been wet, so fires will be delayed there. I believe we can look forward to at least a month before significant fires and smoke will be in the picture. Quite possibly longer.
And, as I have noted before, the long-term forecasts are favorable, with the International Subseasonal Ensemble (IMME) and US CFSv2 models suggesting normal or wetter than normal conditions over the region (see below)
There has been quite a bit of hype and exaggeration about a very bad smoke season this year (from some unnamed politicians and media outlets). Reality looks far better. And even though things look favorable at this point, it is always good to prepare--like getting a top-of-the-line furnace filter, a N95 face mask, and the like.