AP

Industrial fire at Washington paper mill worsens air quality in Portland

Jul 20, 2023, 5:45 AM | Updated: 6:52 am

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

A commercial fire fueled by wood chip piles at a paper mill in southwest Washington is worsening air quality in the Portland area.

The fire at Nippon Dynawave Packaging started Tuesday night, but a large plume of smoke could still be seen Wednesday morning, reported The Longview Daily News.

Crews estimate they will continue fighting the fire on the Longview side of the Lewis and Clark Bridge throughout Wednesday. No injuries have been reported and officials are investigating.

The National Weather Service office in Portland on Wednesday morning said smoke from the fire will likely linger throughout the day and advised city residents to stay inside to limit exposure.

As of Wednesday morning, air quality in Portland was rated unhealthy, according to AirNow.gov.

Crews worked overnight to battle the fire, which damaged conveyors that transport wood chips to the paper and pulp plant. Crews must dig through wood chip piles to apply water, The Daily News reported.

Longview Fire Marshall Jon Dunaway likened the smoke to that of wildfire and advised people leave the area or shut windows and doors to shelter in place.

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Industrial fire at Washington paper mill worsens air quality in Portland