Air Quality Could Improve as Bedrock, Lookout Fires Burn, But Smoke Still a Concern

As wildfires that are still only partially contained burn on, air quality in western Oregon is expected to improve Monday afternoon.

As of Monday afternoon, the Lookout Fire in Lane County, Oregon, is just 5% controlled, but the Bedrock Fire in the Willamette National Forest is only 35% contained.

  • The National Wildfire Coordinating Group estimates that the Bedrock Fire has destroyed at least 30,486 acres since July 22.
  • According to the NWCG, the Lookout Fire, started by lightning on August 5 and is currently moving north and northeast, has burned approximately 11,174 acres. The fire, which more than 900 people are fighting, is not yet causing any structural damage.

“An evacuation center is in place at Lowell High School for evacuees and small pets from the Bedrock and Lookout Fires. A large animal shelter is set up at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene,” the NWSG wrote.

Over the past few days, air quality has reached poor or hazardous levels due to smoke from these fires and those in Washington, California, and Canada. However, rainfall from Hurricane Hilary, which is anticipated to help put out fires in Canada and on the east side of Oregon and Washington, is likely to improve air quality. The air quality will improve if the winds keep blowing smoke east.

Incident commander Jason Loomis stated, “our goal remains to keep the size of the fire as small as possible and to continue to protect nearby private lands and structures.”

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