Maple Fire in Hamma Hamma area at Olympic National Forest, August 2018
Maple Fire in Hamma Hamma area at Olympic National Forest, August 2018 US Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region

As you're probably aware, Portland is still blanketed in an awful layer of hazy wildfire smoke, stuck over the city after drifting north from fires in Southern Oregon, Washington, and California.


The air quality in town has improved marginally from yesterday—instead of being unhealthy for everybody, it’s now just “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” according to the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), though the air around the airport is still just as bad as yesterday. Here's a handy interactive map to track air quality across the state.

Here are some crazy visualizations of where the smoke is across Oregon. Spoiler alert: It’s fucking everywhere. Gee thanks, California.

NOAA visualization of near surface smoke
NOAA visualization of near surface smoke National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Data visualization of vertically integrated smoke
Data visualization of vertically integrated smoke National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Portland Public Schools have cancelled most of their athletic practices to avoid the smoke, and Portland Parks and Recreation have cancelled all of its outdoor activities planned for the day.

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But not everyone can escape the smoke by going indoors. Street Roots is collecting face masks to help shield homeless Portlanders from intense smoke. I recommend getting N95 masks, as they do a much better job of filtering the type of tiny particulate you get with wildfires.

Luckily, this creepy, hellish smog shouldn’t stick around much longer .According to a forecast by the Oregon Smoke Blog, winds should push most of the smoke out of the Willamette Valley tomorrow, clearing up our air. We may even get some wind today that could help clear things a bit in the afternoon. Other parts of Oregon won’t be so lucky—central Oregon will still be trapped in its own smoky hell.