Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Smoke From Wildfires Leads To Unhealthy Air

Pacific NW Team 2 IMT
Pacific NW Team 2 IMT. Smoke from the Big Windy Complex Fire near Galice, Oregon.

Smoke from wildfires is creating poor breathing conditions in parts of the Northwest.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says the air has reached "very unhealthy" levels in parts of southwest Oregon. That's due to a series of wildfires that have led to some evacuations but so far have caused very little property damage.

The lingering smoke is the talk of the town in Grants Pass [today] Tuesday. Bookstore owner Jeff Moore says business is down because many people just don't want to venture out in the haze. "It's like a campfire that you can't get away from the smoke. I mean, it's horrible outside."

Air quality levels have also deteriorated in south-central Washington, where a wildfire continues to burn near the town of Goldendale. Fire crews are also battling a series of wildfires in Idaho.

On the web:

Oregon Air Quality Index - Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality 
Washington air monitoring sites- Washington Dept. of Ecology 
Idaho real-time air monitoring - Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality