By News-Register staff • 

Air quality deemed unhealthy

Smoke from large wildfire rode winds, settled into the valley

Over the weekend, smoke from a large wildfire burning near Estacada rode east and northeast winds into the valley. It sent local pollution indexes soaring to unsafe levels Monday.

Greg Svenlund, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, said even healthy people may notice the smoke affecting their eyes or lungs. The agency is recommending valley residents refrain from outside activity until the air clears.

"If it looks bad outside, it probably is," Svenlund said.

Meanwhile, a Red Flag fire warning was issued by the National Weather Service, due to dry conditions and the threat of thunderstorms Monday evening.

Weather Service meteorologist Laurel McCoy said a wind shift is expected Tuesday, and that should help begin clearing smoke from the valley. "We'll be getting winds from the southwest, which will help keep the smoke off to the east and out of the valley, not trapped in the valley like it is Monday," she said.

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