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PENDLETON — The smoke has finally cleared from the two wildfires that broke out mid-month.

The nearly 17,000-acre Hat Rock Fire near Hermiston and roughly 500-acre Mount Hebron Fire near Pendleton left surrounding communities shrouded in smoke.

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Smoky Skies

A smoky haze hangs over downtown Pendleton on Aug. 13, 2021, as wildfire smoke from across the region inundated Umatilla County. Ed Townsend, science and operations officer at the Northwest Weather Service in Pendleton, reported Pendleton between 2017-22 had 35 days of air that was unsafe for sensitive groups or worse, a increase of 29 times compared to 1999-2016.

Milton-Freewater Fire

Flames and smoke rise Wednesday July 7, 2021, from the wildfire in and around Milton-Freewater.

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