Wildfires lead to unhealthy air quality in Ore.

Wildfires lead to unhealthy air quality in Ore.

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 9:22 AM

PORTLAND – Several wildfires burning in the Northwest have lead to unhealthy levels of smoke in the air stretching Central Oregon to the Portland Metro area.

The Department of Environmental Quality warned that people in the Northwest, especially those who live near the fires, might find it a little harder to breathe during strenuous outdoor activities.

The air quality in Sisters was considered "hazardous" and The American Red Cross set up a shelter in the Sisters Elementary School for people suffering from breathing problems.

"Anyone who might be suffering from asthma of emphysema or any other type of respiratory disease,  they might feel the impacts from a health perspective," Nina Deconcini with the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality said.

More: Fire near Sisters doubles in size

Photos: Pole Creek fire near Sisters

Video: Sisters fire creates its own weather

Wednesday morning the DEQ rating in Bend was listed as “unhealthy" and in Portland was "moderate."

On the DEQ's sliding air quality index scale, a reading of zero to 50 is considered good. Portland's reading was 66, Bend was 119 and Sisters, located close to the Pole Creek fire, was at 423.

Click here for the latest air quality ratings from the DEQ

KGW real-time NW air quality map

KGW real-time visibility map

KGW Reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report

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