Air Quality

What’s Canceled, Closed, Postponed, or in Limbo Due to the Oregon Wildfires?

The city itself isn’t burning, but smoke in the air is affecting everything from outdoor movies to dining to sports.

By Portland Monthly Staff September 10, 2020

When the view from N Willamette Boulevard doesn’t show the Fremont Bridge, the downtown skyline, or the West Hills, it’s definitely not drive-in-movie weather.

Portlanders aren’t under evacuation orders, but many neighbors, friends, colleagues, parents, and other family members are. Between the sudden priorities of life preservation and sheltering the displaced and the dangerous air quality levels in the city, don’t count on scheduled activities actually happening. Here are just a few instances of closures, cancellations, and events with a wait-and-see status.


All classes are canceled and facilities closed for the North Clackamas School District on Friday and Monday, September 11 and 14, as well as Lake Oswego and Reynolds School District. All outdoor events and activities for Beaverton School District are canceled through at least 8 a.m. Monday morning. Hillsboro School District’s resource pickups and bus delivery of meals are canceled on Friday, and the school-based health center at Century High is closed. Parkrose has delayed its start of school until Wednesday, September 16. David Douglas facilities are closed Monday and Tuesday, September 14–15. In Washington, the Vancouver School District suspended its grab-and-go meal program for Friday and Monday, though remote instruction continues. Evergreen Public Schools has also canceled in-person activities and services but continues remote learning. Portland Public Schools—which, like many other local districts, had distance-learning interrupted earlier in the month due to power outages—is holding the usual remote classes, but buildings are closed and meal distribution service is operating with reduced hours. 


For restaurants that have been relying on outdoor dining to keep things going, the wildfires deal another blow. Many Portland restaurants have chosen to close their outdoor patios Thursday for the safety of staff and guests. Oma’s Takeaway, normally open Thursday through Sunday, announced via Instagram Thursday afternoon it would be closed for patio dining service but remain open for takeout. Restaurants and food carts alike, including Quaintrelle and Jojo, decided to close completely for Thursday, while others opted to close early, including Kind Coffee Cart. “We had smoke in the kitchen and restaurant,” says David Gluth of the Urban German Wursthaus, where the patio normally offers a stellar view of the St. Johns Bridge and Forest Park, and the takeout sausage pack has eased many a North Portland family dinner this summer. “It was not safe to hang out there, neither to cook. I’m going from day to day.” On Friday Gluth said he planned to remain closed through the weekend.

From Corvallis to Centralia, Hillsboro to The Dalles, all 42 Burgerville locations were closed on Friday. The local chain recommends checking its location page or social media accounts for hours Saturday and beyond. (Most location list open hours for Monday.) Pine State Biscuits’ NE Schuyler shop was open for takeout and delivery, but its other locations were closed over the weekend.

Our advice? Check a restaurant’s Instagram or Twitter, or call ahead, before making plans. 


The NW Film Center moved Thursday’s screening of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, part of its Cinema Unbound Drive-In at Zidell Yards, to Sunday, September 13, and then postponed it again to September 27. Also postponed were the Friday and Saturday shows—Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love and Basketball and Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own. Keep an eye on the center’s Twitter account and, if you had a ticket to one of the sold-out shows, look for an email from Ticket Tomato for more information.

Newberg’s 99W Drive-In Theatre has been also closed since Thursday, when this note was posted on its Facebook page: “The smoke is so thick in Newberg that it might actually interfere with the projection. Worse, the air quality rating according to AccuWeather is 283: Dangerous.” A building on the property was damaged in this week’s winds, but the screen is intact.

Also canceled was the September 10 outdoor showing of Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, the 1923 silent films that includes the famous scene of Lloyd hanging from the hands of a large clock on the side of a tall building. The screening was part of the Hollywood Theatre and Love Portland Group’s PDX Drive-In Movie Spectacular! at the Expo Center.

Virtual film fests, of course, are unaffected—like the weekend’s Filmed by Bike or the Portland Latin American Film Festival, beginning September 17.


Powell’s Cedar Hills and Burnside locations, which recently reopened, are closed. Curbside pickups were still happening at the Burnside and SE Hawthorne stores for a while but have now been suspended. Downtown Portland’s Kinokuniya is also closed until further notice. The Multnomah County Library has suspended holds pickup service through September 14, as has the Lake Oswego Library.


In a city missive describing a state of emergency in Portland set to last two weeks, Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office announced a sweeping closure: “All outdoor parks and natural areas owned by the City of Portland, including all forested parks, and other locations as designated by the Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, are hereby closed to the general public except as may be necessary for the City to respond to the impacts of fire danger under this Emergency Declaration, or to respond to any other threats to the public, health, safety or welfare under any and all other Emergency Declarations in effect in the City.”


The Portland Thorns were scheduled to play their first game in the National Women’s Soccer League Fall Series on Saturday, September 12, at Providence Park against the OL Reign (Seattle). The Thorns took their training indoors in the smoky conditions, and on Thursday afternoon the team announced the game would be postponed, first to September 15, and then it was pushed even more, to September 30. Coach Mark Parsons said in a press conference earlier Thursday that the Thorns’ front office and medical team were in “constant communication with local experts and NWSL reps ... to make sure that player and staff and officials’ health and safety is paramount.” The Timbers have two games scheduled in this week, but both are away, in Los Angeles (a 4–2 loss on Sunday night) and San Jose. 


Street Roots, an investigative weekly newspaper assisting those experiencing houslessness and poverty, is suspending its print edition for one week, due to the unhealthy air quality in Portland. The paper took a five-month hiatus from regular publication during the pandemic and resumed only last month, offering a Venmo cashless payment option for the first time. Street Roots is asking for donations to help support lost income for its vendors due to the skipped issue. You can donate here

The Portland Farmers Market’s Portland State, Lents, and King markets were canceled this weekend. Tech recycler Free Geek closed Friday and Saturday. Goodwill’s outlet stores are closed, in addition to the many Goodwill locations that have yet to reopen in the pandemic, and those locations that remain open are not accepting donations this weekend. 

Many businesses that regularly have customers waiting outside, such as Ikea, have been closed since Friday. The bike share program Biketown has also suspended service. As residents and businesses follow guidance to remain indoors as much as possible with doors and windows closed, expect many other closures, and call before you go anywhere.

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