Oregon’s vacation from wildfire smoke
After two record-breaking seasons, Oregon saw a much-needed reprieve from wildfire smoke this summer.
DEQ issued only one air quality advisory this year due to wildfire smoke for the area downwind of the Milepost 97 Fire in southwest Oregon. It lasted only a week.
By contrast: in both 2017 and 2018, wildfire smoke inundated Oregon communities off and on for months. Smoke flowed into communities from fires burning across the Pacific Northwest, California and British Columbia. Southern and Central Oregon were the hardest hit parts of the state, but the Portland area also experienced heavy smoke.
But this year was different. “This year was comparatively cooler and wetter,” said Evan Bing, DEQ air quality meteorologist. “We were also not as heavily impacted by large regional smoke plumes being transported into the area, like from British Columbia in 2017 and 2018.”