Air quality to worsen in W Oregon, SW Wash. as wildfire smoke returns

Wildfire smoke in the Portland area on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - KATU image

Forecasters are warning of unhealthy air in parts of the Pacific Northwest as winds push smoke from surrounding wildfires into the region.

The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Advisory for much of Western Oregon and Southwest Washington, which is expected to last through noon on Wednesday.

As of Sunday afternoon, air quality was already listed in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category, which means those with heart disease, the elderly and children are most affected by these unhealthy conditions.

NWS officials said people can expect to wake up to more smoke on Monday morning.

Prolonged exposure to the bad air can be dangerous, and the hazards increase the more time you spend outside. You can check current air quality conditions on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website.

The advisory covers Benton, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill counties in Oregon. Officials did not include Lane County, but said conditions could deteriorate in the coming days.

Meanwhile, DEQ has issued an air pollution advisory for southern Oregon that remains in effect until further notice.

Officials say air quality over the area is poor because of smoke from wildfires and terrain that traps smoke in valleys.

There are also air quality advisories in place for much of Washington State and parts of Idaho as smoke spreads from wildfires in Eastern Washington and British Columbia.

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