By News-Register staff • 

Air quality alert extended through Friday Morning

An air quality alert for the Portland Metro area and Willamette Valley issued by the Portland office of the National Weather Service has been extended through Friday morning. The alert was first posted Tuesday morning.

Smoke from several large fires in Oregon and California has spread across the Willamette Valley and lower Columbia River Valley, according to the weather service, and continues to drift into western Oregon.

Smoke particles may cause burning eyes and runny nose, and may aggravate health conditions. The weather service advises limiting outdoor activities, and keeping children indoors during smoky conditions.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency's website, air quality in the Willamette Valley is listed as unhealthy, because of the smoke. It can drift along river corridors, and spread on the wind.

The Oregon Department of Forestry notes that there are numerous fires burning in central and eastern Washington, and some particularly large fires in eastern and southern Oregon. It maintains a fire information blog at the website

It notes that in Central Oregon, the Memaloose #2 fire is burning three miles east of Mosier, and is at 167 acres. It is about 50 percent contained.

Typically with large wildfires, firefighters attempt to corral – or contain – them inside fire break lines, but they sometimes continue to burn for weeks inside the containment lines.

In northeastern Oregon, the Little Rail Creek Fire is at about 1,000 acres, and is 70 percent contained.

Four fires in eastern Oregon, known as the Miles, Columbus, Snow Shoe and Round Top fires, cover approximately 44,489 acres, combined. Two are about 95 percent contained, the other two remain mostly uncontained.

In southern Oregon, the Taylor Creek fire is burning on about 48,257 acres, and is about 45 percent contained.




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