Wildfire Smoke Causing Poor Air Quality Across Northwest
The sunrise over the Portland metro area Tuesday morning revealed an orange orb behind a haze of smoke from wildfires burning across British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, prompting the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to issue air quality advisories for swaths of western Oregon.
It's the latest consequence of yet another year of devastating wildfires.
Several agencies in Puget Sound say air quality was at unhealthy levels for children, the elderly and other sensitive groups Tuesday. In Spokane, officials say air quality could reach the unhealthy range Tuesday and Wednesday.
In Oregon, fires in the southern part of the state and in Washington are also causing smoky, hazy conditions.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday issued several advisories. It says air quality was unhealthy in the Portland region, as well as in Pendleton, Grants Pass and Medford.
The bad air was just the latest in a long summer of poor air quality for southwest Oregon. DEQ extended an existing advisory in Jackson and Josephine counties and portions of Klamath County where bad air quality is expected through the weekend.
Conditions are expected to improve in the Portland metro area by Wednesday afternoon, though smoke will hover and haze will linger through the week, according to DEQ.
The agency is advising people to avoid outdoor activity — especially young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems.
Portland Parks and Recreation has moved all scheduled outdoor activities indoors and is gearing up to cancel or postpone activities if air quality reaches "very unhealthy" levels.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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