Portland Wakes Up to the Worst Air Quality of Any Major North American City

It's the second-worst in the world.

NORTH BONNEVILLE, WA - SEPT 5, 2017: View of the Eagle Creek Trail wildfire burns thoursands of acres in the Cascade Gorge affecting Oregon and Washington (Photo by Diego G Diaz).

You don't need us to tell you this smoke is brutal—just step outside.

As of this morning, according to Air Visual, the wildfire smoke filling Portland skies makes the city's air quality the worst of any major U.S. city and the second-worst worldwide.

Via Air Visual

Yesterday, Seattle was the only U.S. city with worst air quality than Portland. But shifting winds cleared out the smoke, so the Emerald City has fallen out of Air Visual's top 10 ranking, down to 33.

Related: It's Now Officially the Hottest Year in Portland History, and the City's Air Quality Ranks Among the Worst Worldwide

According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, today's conditions are considered unhealthy for all populations.

"Everyone may begin to experience health effects," DEQ's website reads, "members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects."

The National Weather Service Portland adds that this morning's haze is some of the worst the city has seen, but notes that "conditions should be improving this afternoon."

It has been nearly three weeks since Portland has seen smoke-free skies. And while a respite from toxic air may be forthcoming, wildfires in Oregon and Washington are still some of the most prolific in the country.

The latest update from the U.S. Forest Service notes 22 active fires in Oregon and Washington burning a total of 459,000 acres.

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