Air quality in the south Willamette Valley declined earlier this week due to smoke from wildfires in southern Oregon and northern California. A new fire south of Eugene has further increased risks. Residents may need to prepare for a long stretch of hazy conditions.
Officials with Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, or LRAPA, boosted air quality warnings to moderate for Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove and Oakridge. They anticipate having to raise the warning to the next level soon. Jo Niehaus is a spokeswoman for LRAPA:
Niehaus: “At this rate with the fires around us, we are predicting that the smoky conditions are going to continue. So people can expect to have this haze over the sky for at least another month or two as we enter into the height of wildfire season.”
Neihaus says as air quality declines, the elderly and people with lung conditions should try to stay inside until the smoke clears. She says the coast hasn’t been affected by wildfire smoke, and has the best air quality in the region.