Smoke makes for a dud peach weekend on Green Bluff, leaves lots of peaches for picking

SPOKANE, Wash. - Only a few brave souls made it up to Green Bluff for peach picking this weekend with the poor air quality, which dipped into the hazardous range at times.

"We have really been blessed with a good peach crop because of the weather," said Walter's Fruit Ranch owner Jason Morrell, "but this smoke is just getting in the way."

He says this week and this coming weekend are going to be prime peach picking, with the season lasting into September. The only impact the smoke has had other than keeping crowds away is delaying the peaches ripening by blocking out the sun.

Nonetheless, he says his trees are ripe and ready to be picked, and with folks not coming out, many of the peaches are beginning to drop onto the ground.

"There is no plan-b for the peaches, they are all for u-pick," he said.

For those that have trekked up to Green Bluff, they seem to enjoy the escape from downtown.

"We've been getting people from the city saying 'wow' the air is better up here," he said.

Tuesday's air quality was largely in the "Unhealthy for Some Groups" range with Wednesday's forecasted for "Unhealthy" by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.