Portland air quality improves to 'good'

KGW Sunrise forecast: 9-8-17

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The air quality for everyone in Portland improved to "good" on Friday, and KGW meteorologist Rod Hill said it should stay that way at least through the weekend.

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The smoke that hovered over the Rose City for most of the week came primarily from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge.

Photos: Ash falling in Portland area

"West winds have blown most of the smoke out of the valley," Hill said Friday morning. "Air quality early this morning is good to moderate from Salem to Vancouver. Gorge winds will be west 10-30 mph today near Hood River."

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Conditions will stay about the same Saturday and Sunday, but could worsen again starting Monday.

"East winds return Monday and Tuesday, along with highs near 90 degrees," Hill said. "Those winds will likely enable wildfire smoke to return to areas west of the Cascades."

This isn't the first bout Portland has had with hazy skies and poor air quality this summer. In early August, Portland's air quality diminished after smoke from wildfires in British Columbia was blown south into the region.

Farther south, four wildfires blanketed Detroit Lake in hazardous smoke earlier this month. 

“The smoke was actually burning our eyes,” said Gary Terlecki, who owns a cabin in Detroit and brought his family for the weekend. “It was awful."

Related: Smoke chokes Detroit, evac level upped for Breitenbush

In Southern Oregon, communities have been dealing with smoky skies as a result of the Chetco Bar Fire burning near Brookings. The fire, which in August was determined to be the highest priority wildfire in the country, led to the relocating of season-opening high school football games to areas with healthy air conditions.

More: Chetco Bar Fire grows

© 2017 KGW-TV


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