PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Monday in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington fires due to wildfires
Officials said the smoke is from the Cedar Creek Fire and fires in Washington.
Oregon DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Friday. Douglas, Northern Klamath, and Lane counties are also under an air quality advisory.
In the Portland metro area, the air quality was considered unhealthy for sensitive groups Monday, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
In most parts of Portland, the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels were over 100.
On Saturday, KOIN News Meteorologist Natasha Stenbock said an easterly wind would bring wildfire smoke into Portland and the Willamette Valley through the weekend.
Air quality advisories were in effect Saturday across Southwest Washington and at the southern end of the Willamette Valley near Eugene, in the vicinity of the Cedar Creek Fire.
Meteorologist Kelley Bayern said that wildfire smoke was still affecting the area Monday morning.
“Winds play a huge roll in air quality. We saw our air quality degrade in Portland over the weekend due to strong northeast winds that dragged in smoke from wildfires in Washington,” she said.
The Eugene and Oakridge areas were much worse than the Portland metro area Monday morning. As of 10:50 a.m., Eugene’s air quality levels were considered unhealthy for the general public and Oakridge’s air quality was hazardous.
Many people may notice the visible haze in the air in Portland and the Willamette Valley.
The good news is Bayern said the air quality should improve throughout the day Monday. Northwesterly winds will move through the state late in the afternoon Monday and into Tuesday. People should be able to noticed a difference in the air quality by Monday night.
“A little bit of cleaning here as the winds from the west help to push the smoke out. Notice down near Eugene and Oakridge where the Cedar Creek Fire still is burning, that vicinity could still keep some poor air quality because they’re just closer to the fires,” Bayern said.
Anyone with respiratory issues should pay close attention to the air quality.
When air quality is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, the Environmental Protection Agency said anyone who is sensitive to air pollution may experience health effects when engaged in outdoor activities. Sensitive groups include people with heart and lung disease, older adults, children, and people with diabetes.
People can protect themselves when smoke levels are high by staying inside, keeping windows closed, avoiding strenuous outdoor activity, using hi-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation or portable air purifiers, and by avoiding areas with higher smoke levels.