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Air Quality Downgraded to Unhealthy for Portland Metro Area

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland metro area’s air quality was downgraded to unhealthy Tuesday morning.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) was 168 on Tuesday morning. A rating higher than 150 is considered unhealthy for everyone. AQI measures how many particles are in the air.

The Environmental Protection Agency says people should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, and consider staying inside. People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children are at higher risk and should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

The poor air quality is a result of wildfires burning in Oregon currently, especially the Chetco Bar Fire in southern Oregon and the Whitewater Fire near Mount Jefferson.

KGW meteorologist Chris McGinness said Portland should get a break from the high heat and the smoke, starting Tuesday. The high Tuesday is expected to be 89 degrees, with sunshine prominently featured in the forecast.

“A stronger onshore push Wednesday means we’ll likely wake up to some morning clouds tomorrow and probably Thursday,” McGinness said.

The National Weather Service reported the smoke should clear from the area by Tuesday evening.

Smoke expected to clear out of the area by this evening as west winds and onshore flow increases.

— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) August 29, 2017

The onshore push means winds will develop from the west in the Gorge later Tuesday and Wednesday.

Portland topped out at 98 degrees Monday at PDX, the city’s 18th 90-degree day this summer.

Strong high pressure will bring back 90-degree temperatures starting Friday.

© 2017 KGW-TV

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