Air quality at 'unhealthy' level in Portland due to wildfires - KPTV - FOX 12

Air quality at 'unhealthy' level in Portland due to wildfires

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A smoky haze from wildfires across the state has settled into the Portland metro area and other parts of the Willamette Valley.

Tuesday's air quality is the worst it has been in weeks, categorized as “unhealthy” most of the afternoon by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The best thing to do when the air quality reaches unhealthy levels is to limit your time outside and refrain from vigorous activities like running or playing sports.

Young children, pregnant women and those usually sensitive to air pollution should limit their time outside as well.

FOX 12 talked to hiker Andy Ranalli on Tuesday near Council Crest. He said that he planned to take it easy on his hike and take more breaks because of all of the smoke.

“Visually, it’s almost night and day,” Ranalli said. “It’s like we’re in an October fog here because you can’t see more than 100 feet out with real visibility. I think it sucks. It’s not the Portland we know.”

Here are a few more tips from the Oregon Health Authority: 

  • Make sure to keep your indoor air as clean as possible by changing your filters if they are due.
  • Avoid smoking inside.
  • Hold off on vacuuming, which can stir up dust.
  • Drink lots of water. That can help ease symptoms like a scratchy throat or coughing.

There is some good news. The winds should blow out at least some of this smoke Tuesday evening and push it east. By Wednesday, everyone should notice a big improvement in air quality in the metro area.

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