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Poor air quality expected to plague Eugene, Oakridge through mid-week

The smoky air can be seen at the morning briefing at the Oakridge fire camp on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.
The smoky air can be seen at the morning briefing at the Oakridge fire camp on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.

Lane County is under an “air quality advisory” through Wednesday.

An east wind is blowing smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire towards Oakridge and Eugene. Unlike the east wind event earlier this month, conditions are not favorable for rapid fire spread, thanks to cooler temperatures and more humidity.

Smoky conditions are expected through through Wednesday afternoon.

“Between now and then, we will see varying air quality impacts from the fire, with the most significant impacts being in the morning and somewhat better air quality being seen in the afternoon and the evening," said Travis Knudsen with the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. "However, air quality will remain pretty reduced in general until we get to that Wednesday afternoon time frame.”

Knudsen said the air quality is so poor, people should reconsider all outdoor activities. Windows should stay closed as much as possible.

He said the east wind is related to a storm system moving through California. Rain fell over the Cedar Creek Fire over the weekend, with some parts of the fire zone receiving up to a half-inch of precipitation. There's a chance of additional rain mid-week, with a warming trend expected later in the week.

As of mid-day Monday, the Cedar Creek Fire was 113,000 acres and 11% contained.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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