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Wildfire Smoke Blows Into Portland Metro Region

Air quality officials say that an east wind is blowing smoke from a wildfire on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge into Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Air monitors in Southeast Portland show particulate concentrations increased to the “moderate” range Thursday night.

Department of Environmental Quality spokesman William Knight says the levels are below what’s considered harmful for at-risk populations. But Knight says the elderly, children and people with respiratory conditions, like asthma, should still be careful. 

Wildfires in the White Salmon area are a factor in smokey skies over Portland.

Wildfires in the White Salmon area are a factor in smokey skies over Portland.

Debbie Robinson/Washington Department of Natural Resources

“If you can stay indoors, limit your activities outdoors, and use filtered air if you have it,” Knight says. “In some cases, some individuals may be so sensitive and concerned, it might be a good idea that they consider leaving the area, to protect themselves from having to inhale smoke.”

Knight says people who consider themselves perfectly healthy should also consider limiting their exercise. He says bike commuters, for instance, might want to pedal a little more slowly — or take their bike on the bus for part of the ride home.

Smoke conditions can change with wind speed and direction.