McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

Smoke is from eastside fires


September 12, 2012

Smoke enters McKenzie Valley

Satellite image of smokeSmoke from a wildfire near Sisters was visible this morning over the Cascade foothills. Satellite images from yesterday show a smoke plume from the Pole Creek fire drifting toward the southern Willamette Valley. Residents in the Eugene, Springfield, and Cottage Grove areas are encouraged to keep an eye on air quality over the next few days.

“High pressure is creating an offshore flow, with winds coming from the east in the late night and early morning hours, bringing smoke into the area” says Sally Markos, spokesperson for the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA). LRAPA’s air quality monitors in downtown Springfield, south Eugene, and Cottage Grove are currently recording air quality in the good range, but that could change quickly if smoke is carried into the valley. Onshore winds are forecast for later in the weekend, which would push any smoke out of the region. “If smoke levels do rise, anyone with asthma, respiratory problems, or heart disease should avoid vigorous activity,” says Markos.

Particulates pose dangers

The fine particles contained in wood smoke, also called particulate, are especially harmful because they are inhaled deep into the lungs and can enter the bloodstream. Residents experiencing health problems associated with the smoke are encouraged to consult with their doctors. Conditions can change rapidly with a shift in wind direction. LRAPA will be monitoring conditions over the next few days and will provide updates as warranted. The public can track hourly particulate levels and the Air Quality Index by logging onto the LRAPA website at

McKenzie River Reflections


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