Low Air Quality May Lead to Burn Ban
Officials are forecasting a rise in air pollution levels in the region through the weekend. Residents of the South Willamette Valley and the Bend area are asked not to burn wood until conditions improve.
The National Weather Service has issued an Air Stagnation Advisory for the Central and Southern Willamette Valley.
When air is stagnate, pollution from wood burning may stick around at ground level, saturating the air.
Merlyn Hough is director of the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. He says if air quality gets worse and temperature inversion continues it could lead to a burn ban.
Hough: “Temperature inversion is when you have cold air at the surface and warmer air above, and that warm air essentially puts a lid on the valley so pollutants build up underneath that lid until there’s some new weather front.”
Hough says home wood heating is the most significant contributor to degraded air quality during cold winter days.
Conditions are expected to improve on Monday.