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Air Quality Alert Extended for All NW Oregon, Including Coast

Published 09/04/2017 at 5:27 PM PDT - Updated 09/05/2017 at 2:27 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Air Quality Alert for All NW Oregon, Including Coast

(Oregon Coast) - An air quality alert has been issued for all of northwest Oregon – including the Oregon coast – which has now been extended until midnight tonight (Tuesday). The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) issued the Air Quality Alert, thanks to heavy smoke from regional wildfires and ozone levels.

There's also a word of warning about popular apps that claim to show air quality around the state.

Some areas are getting the smoke much worse than others, with the Portland area experiencing actual ash fall. Even the north Oregon coast is reporting hazy, irritating conditions as of late afternoon Monday, with residents in Cannon Beach and Seaside saying it is smoky and muggy.

On the central coast, however, it is overcast but only slightly smoky and hazy, according to residents in places like Newport and Lincoln City. Florence appears to be a bit worse off, likely because it is closer to many of the fires around Lane County.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Portland said forecasted conditions will cause these air quality issues to worsen.

“Easterly winds will develop later Monday and continue into Tuesday morning,” the NWS said. “These east winds will bring smoke westward from the wildfires in the Cascades and Columbia Gorge. Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.”

The air quality alert is for all counties in northwest Oregon, including Lane and Marion counties, along with the entire upper half of the Oregon coast. This includes the towns of Newport, Pacific City, Tillamook, Manzanita, Cannon Beach and Astoria.

More information about air quality across northwest Oregon can be found at: www.oregon.gov/DEQ and www.lrapa.org.

Meanwhile, Oregon Coast Beach Connection has discovered a major issue with apps purporting to show air quality on the coastline. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

A meteorologist at the NWS office in Portland said there are no air quality sensors they know of on the Oregon coast. Katherine Benanati with the DEQ confirmed that agency has none on the beaches. This presents a possible warning for app users that are looking up air quality for the beach towns. Most likely these are not accurate in any way.

Earlier this weekend, coastal residents on social media were noting how the apps they had for air quality were dispensing incredibly high numbers for the Oregon coast, such as around 388. They also noted no matter what zip code they entered they would get that number.

The NWS said a number like that is extremely unlikely for the coastline. More Oregon Coast Weather,










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