PORTLAND, Ore. — Many people across the Portland-Vancouver metro area woke up Wednesday morning to a thin layer of dark ash covering their cars.
"A smoky sky yesterday and a trace of rain overnight left many of us with ash-covered windshields this morning," said KGW meteorologist Chris McGinness. He said on Tuesday, several wildfires burning on the west slopes of the Cascades produced smoke across western Oregon.
KGW chief meteorologist Matt Zaffino explained that the smoke in the metro area Tuesday night was elevated and as rain formed at that elevation, when the rain fell, it brought down some of the particles in the smoke.
McGinness said shifting winds will help clear the metro area of any smoke Wednesday.
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When cleaning the ash off your car, it's important to remember that wiping the ash off your car while it's wet could scratch the paint.
"If it's wet, you run the risk of scratching and damaging the paint, because the particles in the ash can act like sandpaper," Zaffino said. "If you do have ash or soot on your car and it gets wet, don't wipe it off. Wash it off with water, preferably warm if you can manage that. Professional car washes work, too."
Zaffino also suggested that once the smoke and ash are gone, that people should check their car air filter. Another good idea is to make sure windshield wipers are clean. If they're covered in ash, they could scratch the windshield.
KGW viewers and staff sent in photos overnight of the ash on their cars:
Ash on cars in Portland, Vancouver
Here are the largest fires currently burning in western Oregon, as of Wednesday: