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News / Health / Clark County Health

Longview commercial fire still smoldering; air quality in Clark County improves

By Craig Brown, Columbian Editor
Published: July 20, 2023, 12:06pm

Longview firefighters are continuing their battle against a fire that is burning in a mountain of wood chips at a mill along the Columbia River waterfront.

In a Thursday midmorning update, Longview Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway said two fire engines and  a helicopter were working to extinguish the fire at Nippon Dynawave Packaging. Plans for later in the day call for attacking the mountain of smoldering chips with heavy equipment, allowing firefighters better access on the ground.

The fire is continuing to produce smoke, but the smoke that had moved into Clark County has dissipated. According to the website airnow.gov, Clark County’s air measured 25 for particulates and 20 for ozone as of late Thursday morning, both in the “good” category. That compares with an “unhealthy” rating of 174 on Wednesday morning.

The Southwest Washington Clear Air Agency lifted its air pollution advisory Thursday following improvements in fine particulate matter levels in Clark and Cowlitz counties.

The fire was reported at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday at the mill, which makes bleached paperboard used in products such as coffee cups and milk cartons. The fire is outdoors, not in the plant, and its cause has not been released.

Lauren Ellenbecker contributed to this report.