Portland’s air quality index remains ‘unhealthy’ – third consecutive day

The air quality index measured "unhealthy" for the third day in a row on Friday, August 4, 2017. (SBG photo)

PORTLAND Ore. – It will be a slow transition to better - or at least somewhat better - air quality in Portland Friday, KATU’s Rhonda Shelby said.

The smoke and smog that’s filling Portland and the surrounding area is measuring an “unhealthy” air quality index Friday morning, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Shelby calls it “dirty air” and the EPA says people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid spending much time outside in these conditions. Everyone else should avoid exertion when the air is like this.

"These particles are so fine, you don't filter than out, they can go all the way into your lungs and into your bloodstream," said Dr. Robert Leman, with Oregon Health Authority.

Dr. Leman said people with heart disease are more at risk of having heart attacks.

Fires in British Columbia are creating the smoke that’s blanketing Washington and Oregon. More than 1 million acres have burned in British Columbia, Shelby said.

Shelby said winds out of the west from the Pacific Ocean will help push the smoke to the east Friday afternoon, improving the air quality in the Willamette Valley and surrounding areas.

DEQ extended its pollution advisory through Tuesday, Aug. 8. Officials recommend driving less, avoid mowing your lawns and avoid using paints and aerosol sprays.

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