A week after wildfires began consuming thousands of acres in western Oregon, firefighters are making progress on some of the most destructive blazes in state history. State officials said Monday that 10 people have died, though that number was higher than the totals released by county officials, and 22 are still missing. Countless homes and businesses have been scorched.
Much of the state remains under an air quality alert that has been extended until noon on Thursday, as winds forecasters were expecting didn’t materialize.
Rebecca Muessle with the National Weather Service’s Portland office said that the thick smoke blanketing the west coast has made winds harder to predict, since they’ve stopped the warming afternoon temperatures that can create windy conditions.
“We do have a system moving in this afternoon into tomorrow,” Muessle said. “We could see some slight improvements, but realistically we’re not expecting enough that would really improve air