Sep 15, 2020 - Science

Portland has world's worst air quality as West Coast fires raze 5 million acres

In this aerial view from a drone, structures destroyed by wildfire and others spared by fire retardant are seen on September 12, 2020 in Talent, Oregon.

An aerial view of structures destroyed by wildfire and others spared by fire retardant in Talent, Oregon. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Portland, Oregon, recorded the poorest air quality in the world Tuesday, per IQ Air, as the West Coast wildfires burn across some 5 million acres.

Why it matters: The mega-fires have charred 3,154,107 acres in California, over 1 million in Oregon and more than 807,000 in Washington amid hazardous air conditions. Seattle has the world's third-worst air quality and Los Angeles the seventh, according to IQ Air. The blazes have killed at least 35 people and displaced tens of thousands. Thousands of structures have been destroyed.

Go deeper: In photos: Historic wildfires rage across the West

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the fires and air quality.

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