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Smoke from California wildfires expected to begin clearing from Western Oregon soon

Parts of Oregon and Washington may be seeing some smoke from California wildfires, but, at least for Western Oregon, it should not be nearly as bad as the conditions the region saw earlier this month.

Clinton Rocky, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland, said most of that smoke is up high — at about 8,000 feet. So, lower elevations should not be directly affected, minus seeing some hazy skies.

But, there is high pressure over the region, which he said, can also create air quality issues.

“That kind of acts like a blanket over the region,” Rocky said. “It protects us from the smoke way up high, but it also means we’re not going to mix the air up that we have, so the air that’s with us down here in the lowlands, we’re just going to be recycling it over the next few days.”

He continued: “It may slowly start creeping up as far as some air quality issues, but we don’t expect any issues like we saw back earlier in the month.”

Rocky said it’s expected that wind patterns should begin moving the smoke east starting Thursday night and into Friday.

Air quality may be more impacted for Southern and South Central Oregon, due to the combination of the Lionshead Fire still burning near the Warm Springs Reservation and fires burning in California.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Wednesday issued an air quality advisory for that area spanning through Saturday.

“Smoke and haze will be visible throughout much of Oregon, particularly along in the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast,” DEQ said in a statement. “However the air quality outside of Southern Oregon and South Central Oregon is not expected to reach unhealthy levels.”

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