Air quality alert issued as most of Oregon sits under blanket of smoke

MODIS satellite images

PORTLAND, Ore. – Wildfires burning across the state caused unhealthy air quality levels in the Portland metro area Monday morning. The National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for most of northwest Oregon.

READ MORE | Smoke challenges firefighters as they attempt to measure size of Eagle Creek Fire

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the area south of Gresham is “unhealthy for sensitive groups." This means people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should stay inside when possible and avoid exerting themselves outside.

Most of Portland proper has “moderate” air quality. This could still be a health concern for a small number of people sensitive to air pollution. Areas west of Portland, including Tualatin and Hillsboro are recording “good” air quality.

Yakima, Wash. and Sweet Home, Ore. measured at “very unhealthy” air quality levels, according to the World Air Quality Index Project Team.

You can check the current air quality conditions on the DEQ website and on the Washington Ecology Air Monitors site.

KATU weathercaster Mary Loos said the wildfire smoke from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge will likely be pushed farther into the Portland metro area by winds out of the east. This means the city could reach “unhealthy” air quality levels later in the day.

The National Weather Service in Portland issued an air quality alert for the following areas:

  • Benton County
  • Clackamas County
  • Clatsop County
  • Columbia County
  • Hood River County
  • Lane County
  • Lincoln County
  • Linn County
  • Marion County
  • Multnomah County
  • Polk County
  • Tillamook County
  • Washington County Yamhill County
  • Corvallis
  • Oregon City
  • Mollala
  • Sandy
  • Government Camp
  • Astoria
  • Seaside
  • Cannon Beach
  • St. Helens
  • Florence
  • Oakridge
  • Willamette Pass
  • Newport
  • Lincoln City
  • Toledo
  • Albany
  • Lebanon
  • Sweet Home
  • Salem
  • Stayton
  • Detroit
  • Portland
  • Gresham
  • Multnomah Falls
  • Dallas
  • Monmouth
  • Independence
  • Grande Ronde
  • Tillamook
  • Garibaldi
  • Pacific City
  • Beaverton
  • Hillsboro
  • Forest Grove
  • McMinnville
  • Newberg

The air quality alert will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

WATCH | The latest KATU weather forecast

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