PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Wildfire smoke from around the Pacific Northwest will blow into the Willamette Valley Friday afternoon as 30- to 40-mph, easterly winds hit the region.
KOIN 6 Meteorologist Kelley Bayern reports that 90-degree temperatures and dry, windy conditions will combine to create potentially disastrous wildfire conditions, resulting in a wall of red flag warnings issued for the Western half or Oregon and Washington on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s the perfect recipe for massive fire spread,” Bayern said. “A red flag warning is in place across the region as east winds ramp up heading into Friday afternoon.”
The accumulating smoke will cause poorer air quality in the Portland area Friday. Air quality is forecast to reach unhealthy levels in Linn and Lane Counties through Saturday, as dense smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire is pushed into the valley.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency have issued air quality advisories for areas of Central Oregon, including Lincoln City, Newport, Cape Foulweather, Yachats, Florence, Grande Ronde, Burnt Woods, Tidewater, Swisshome, Veneta, Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, Vida, Jasper, Lowell, Cottage Grove, McKenzie Pass, McKenzie Bridge, Oakridge, and Willamette Pass.
“Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems,” NOAA stated. “Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.”
Despite the dangerous wildfire conditions plaguing the Pacific Northwest, Portland’s National Weather Service Office reports that this week’s winds are expected to peak well below the 2020 Labor Day windstorm, which created gusts up to 80 mph across coastal regions and in the Cascades.