Portland takes first place for worst air quality in the country

Yesterday should have been a beautiful Saturday and a great way to close out Summer weather before rain moved in, but the fires had other ideas.

The top-five towns and cities with the worst air quality in the country were all in Oregon as reported by the EPA. Smoke kept the temperature 5°F below the expected high of 80°F. The air quality in Portland was even worse than Beijing, China.

The Eagle Creek Fire caused the poor air quality as an overnight breeze brought smoke from the fire over the city. Towns east, inlcuding Gresham and Troutdale, saw the worst of the smoke. The fire is still only 28% contained.

Cooler temperatures and rain should lead to better air quality this week, but four Oregon towns still make the EPA list of worst air quality with Applegate Valley, OR; Bend, OR; Shady Cove, OR; and Medford, OR in spots 2-5 on the current list. Seeley Lake, Montana is at the top.

You can stay on top of the smoke forecast by checking out the Oregon Smoke Information blog, a coordinated effort to aggregate air quality information by city, county, tribal, state and federal agencies.