Smoke should clear today

A shift in winds should keep Central Oregon clear of smoke today from fires burning west of the Cascades.

While west and southwest winds filled the region with smoke Wednesday night and into midday Thursday, the National Weather Service is calling for northwest winds, said Mike Murphy, a meteorologist at the agency’s Pendleton office.

Wildfire smoke in Bend on Thursday morning caused air quality to drop to levels potentially dangerous for people with heart and breathing conditions. The smoke from the Deception Complex fire near Oakridge may have caused itchy eyes, scratchy throats and headaches.

By Thursday afternoon the smoke had cleared and air quality improved.

You can use visibility to gauge the air quality.

If visibility is more than 15 miles, air quality is good; between 5 to 15 miles moderate; under 5 miles unhealthy for sensitive groups; under 3 miles unhealthy for everyone; and under 1 mile very unhealthy.

Thursday in Bend, Bailey said, he observed visibility of 3 to 5 miles.

— Dylan J. Darling

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