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South Washington Coast Air Alert; Portland, Eugene 'Wall of Smoke' - Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Published 08/19/23 at 8:34 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Washington Coast Air Alert; Portland, Eugene 'Wall of Smoke' | Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Long Beach, Washington) – The worst is yet to come.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada and the upper U.S. are pushing a “wall of smoke” into much of Washington and Oregon over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), with the southern Washington coast and parts of the Columbia River Gorge under an air quality advisory. It's likely more of those are coming as Portland, Eugene, Medford and other inland areas are encountering increasing haze.

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The National Weather Service (NWS) issued the air quality alert for the south Washington coast as well as the Willapa Hills and Vancouver area, in effect until noon on Monday. Smoky air has made it to the Oregon coast as well, but it's not expected to be problematic there.

“With smoke from both local wildfires & wildfires to the north expected to impact NW Oregon & SW Washington today & tomorrow, it's important to know how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke. Find interactive air quality reports at,” the NWS said in a bulletin. “Particulate matter (PM2.5) may intermittently fluctuate between Moderate and Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups.”

Burning restrictions are in effect for just about all areas of the Pacific Northwest.

“Latest air quality reports confirm that a good deal of smoke has pushed into central Washington and northern Oregon, including Hood River, as shown by unhealthy to very unhealthy [Air Quality Index],” the NWS said.

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Additionally, the heaviest may be headed for Portland.

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“Guidance has been fairly consistent over the past 12-24 hours that the smoke will reach the Portland/Vancouver metro this evening, then across the remainder of the forecast area overnight,” the NWS said. “Once the smoke arrives, it will likely linger through Sunday evening.”

The haze infiltrated the southern Oregon coast days ago, but so far has not done much more than create unusual sunset photographs.

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Depoe Bay area in haze - Oregon Coast Beach Connection

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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