Published: Tue, September 15, 2020
Medical | By

Ground-level smoke may remain "until later this week": air quality advisory

Ground-level smoke may remain

The air quality index throughout much of Washington state was in the 300s on Tuesday, which is hazardous to health, according to the state Department of Ecology's tracker.

Wildfires burning around California as well as in OR and Washington have sent large amounts of smoke around the Bay Area and kept people mostly indoors to avoid the unhealthy air quality.

"Basically went from a more favorable flow where we weren't getting the smoke to westerly flow, which brought all that smoke in from OR", said Bill Wojcik, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Boise.

The corporation posted a message on social media advising that wood smoke wafting north from the US had cut air quality over central and southern B.C., making delivery unsafe for its workers.

Air quality throughout most of OR remains poor on Tuesday, and conditions in Portland are far and away the worst among major cities globally.

This week's forecast indicates a slight improvement in air quality today but ground-level smoke is predicted to remain until later this week.

The Department of Environmental Quality and the National Weather Service on Monday extended an air quality alert for western OR and southwest Washington through noon Thursday because of the hazardous air quality.

Thick smoke continues to obscure the sky early Tuesday in Portland as wildfires burn elsewhere in the state. Air quality has reached HAZARDOUS in Libby, VERY UNHEALTHY in Thompson Falls, and UNHEALTHY in the Flathead Valley.

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