Satellite images show smoke from wildfires spreading across nation

Portland, Oregon, now has the worst air quality of any major city in the world. The state handed out 250,000 N-95 masks and is telling people to stay indoors.
2:31 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for Satellite images show smoke from wildfires spreading across nation
weather disaster unfolding tonight across several states in the west and now evidence of that horrific smoke-filled air being seen all the way across the country, right into the east, in fact. Tonight, Portland, Oregon, now has the worst air quality in the world. In fact, Oregon authorities are now handing out n-95 masks by the thousands. First masks for the pandemic, now masks to protect families from the air. People urged to stay indoors. Dozens of fires now burning in ten states. Time lapse video showing California's bobcat fire closing in on the mt. Wilson observatory. A ranch owner documenting her escape from a blinding fire in Washington. And the smoke and haze from California, Oregon and Washington visible in the sky over New York City today. ABC's Kaylee Hartung from the fire zone tonight. Reporter: Tonight, a thick blanket of smoke suffocating the west coast, putting millions in danger and now moving across the country. Satellite images show the massive smoke clouds from the record-breaking wildfires spreading all the way to New York. Portland, Oregon, is ground zero, with the worst air quality of any major city in the world. The state handing out 250,000 n-95 masks, telling people to stay indoors. One out of every ten hospital visits due to the hazardous air quality. We're seeing a lot more people with productive cough, dry cough, shortness of breath. Reporter: A lot of those symptoms sounding like they overlap with covid-19. It's difficult to tell at first who has covid-19 and who has an irritant from the pollution. We're leaving. Oh, my -- Reporter: This danger, the result of more than 70 fires raging in ten states. Destroying thousands of structures, killing at least 27 people in the last week. Stories of tragedy emerging. 16-year-old Josiah Williams of berry creek, California, died as he attempted to flee. A fire quickly engulfing his hometown. His brother tried to get back up in there to get him, his dad tried to get back up in there and get him. It's not anybody's fault. It's not his mom's, not his dad's, his brother's. These things happen and it's horrible, horrible. Reporter: Millicent catarancuic died in the Sam fire. Her family devastated and grappling with agonizing uncertainty. Her sister, Susan, one of dozens still missing in the west. The family waiting too long before trying to evacuate. What they didn't know is that there is a wall of flame moving at them at over a thousand yards an hour. I don't think they understood that. Kaylee Hartung reporting in tonight. Thank you. And yet another major breaking story today.

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