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Heavy Smog Endangers Locals, But Conditions To Improve Soon

Brian Bull

Wildfire smoke has made the air dangerous to breathe across the Eugene-Springfield area.  But there is relief later in the week.

People are advised to stay inside as much as possible. If they absolutely have to be outside, they’re advised to wear an N-95 mask if they have one, and get back inside ASAP.

Credit Navy Medicine / Flickr.com/Public Domain
Flickr.com/Public Domain
Navy medic with N95 face mask under face shield.

Travis Knudsen of the Lane County Regional Air Protection Agency said the duration and toxicity of this smog is record-breaking.

“On September 3rd, 2017, Eugene saw an average air quality index value over 24-hour period of 291," he told KLCC. "And since then, Eugene’s highest that we have seen was on September 13th where we had an average air quality index value over a 24-hour period of 457.”

But Knudsen says an incoming storm from the Pacific Ocean will begin to alleviate the poor air, more so once it moves inland Thursday.  An air quality advisory remains in effect until at least then.

Credit LRAPA
An earlier AQI reading from September 14, 2020. The wildfire smoke settled into the region a week ago.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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