Alaska Airlines suspends Portland, Spokane flights due to wildfire smoke
Wildfires have killed 10 people in Oregon, with 22 still reported missing
Alaska Airlines has temporarily suspended all flights in and out of two airports in the Pacific Northwest due to wildfire smoke blanketing the region.
The airline announced in a blog post on Monday the temporary suspension of all flights into Portland and Spokane, Wash., as the Pacific Northwest continues to see "intense wildfires and hazardous air quality."
"Across the West, fires are creating thick smoke and haze, causing very poor air quality conditions in the Portland and Spokane areas," Alaska Airlines said in a blog post. "We made the difficult decision to stop our operation so that our employees and guests can remain safe."
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The airline said the temporary suspensions began at 3 p.m. on Monday and are expected to last until 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Alaska Airlines, along with its regional carrier, Horizon Air, have canceled dozens of flights in Portland and Spokane for that 24-hour period.
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Alaska and Horizon have also canceled flights at smaller airports due to fire and smoke, including Eugene, Medford and Redmond/Bend in Oregon, and Pasco and Walla Walla in Washington.
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Impacted travelers can change or cancel flights under Alaska’s “Peace of Mind waiver.” The airline said they can also manage their reservation online or call 1-800-252-7522.
"Improving weather conditions in the coming days could begin to dissipate smoke in Portland and Spokane," the airline said on its blog. "However, other airports in the West could be impacted by drifting smoke."
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More than 30 wildfires are burning across Oregon, as the entire West Coast has seen putrid, dangerous air spewing from the recent blazes. At least 35 people have died from the blazes, including 10 in Oregon.
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality extended an air quality alert to Thursday after it was set to initially expire on Monday.
Hazy, smoky skies fouled Washington state and experts have said some parts of California might not see relief until next month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.