Strong winds pushed wildfire smoke from around the state into Central Oregon Tuesday afternoon and evening, creating unhealthy conditions for anyone outside.
The AQI in Bend at 7 a.m. Wednesday was 163 – unhealthy. It was also unhealthy in Sisters while Prineville and Madras reported moderate air quality.
Oregon DEQ issued an air quality advisory for Central Oregon on Wednesday morning saying the region could have unhealthy air quality through at least Friday morning.
Health officials advise people to refill inhalers and air out homes and businesses when smoke levels improve to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index).
Two fires on the Willamette National Forest including the now 1,700~ Middle Fork Complex and a fire in the Mt. Washington Wilderness made runs Tuesday in continued hot and dry conditions and much of the smoke from those fires is drifting into Central Oregon.
The small fires in Central Oregon right now are the Harvey Gap Fire on the Ochoco National Forest and the Keller Springs Fire on Oregon Department of Forestry-protected private lands near Opal Mountain. Both fires are under 2 acres.
The Deep Creek and Johnson Ridge Fires remain 95% contained tonight and fire behavior is minimal.
Considering how much of Oregon has burned this year, it’s really the first time the air quality has been this poor.
The poor air quality forced the Bend Elks to cut short their game against Walla Walla Tuesday night (disrupting the popular $2 Tuesday, mind you.)
The game was in the bottom of the sixth inning when officials made the call to suspend the contest until Wednesday afternoon.
This blog has great resources about smoke and your health. Please navigate up to the top bar to see “Smoke and Your Health” and explore the pull down menu.
You can also visit airnow.gov for real-time air quality information.