Wildfire Smoke Blankets Willamette Valley

Aug 4, 2014

Smoke from southern Oregon wildfires is making its way to the Willamette Valley and the central Cascades. That's what's creating hazy conditions. But state regulators say air quality is good for the Eugene-Springfield area. It's rated moderate in the Bend area.

The Beaver Complex is comprised of the Salt Creek Fire (20 miles northwest of Medford) and the Oregon Gulch Fire (15 miles east of Ashland), lightning-started fires that started on July 30-31.
Credit Inciweb

Clinton Rocky is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Portland. He says the hazy skies should stick around through Tuesday.

Rocky: "Looks like are winds aloft are going to start turning over the next few days so a lot of the thick smoke that's over us right now will begin to shift back towards the east."

Rocky says the smoky layer is keeping the overnight temperatures from dropping

Rocky: "This haze is kind of acting like a blanket and kind of trapping in the warmth of the lowlands. So we're dealing with overnight lows, instead of being in the 50s, we're waking up with temperatures in the 60s and that just starts the day off, when you don't have much wind around, it just feels like a rotten day overall."

Rocky expects cooler ocean air Tuesday night and Wednesday bringing Willamette Valley highs down into the upper 70s and low 80s. He says to enjoy it while it lasts as warmer temperatures are expected to return. July was the 2nd warmest on record since 1890 for Eugene.