As the Milepost 97 Fire in Southern Oregon has ballooned to 9,000 acres, Northern California looks on with empathetic eyes as we see the devastating effects of the fire from afar. And although we aren’t directly in the line of fire, the smoke is moving south of the fire and into NorCal, causing poor air conditions.
An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Southern Oregon and Northern California by The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, with some communities just south of the fire receiving some of the worst air quality scores in the United States. With strong winds continuing throughout the region and only 5 percent containment, the smoke filling the air may continue for an extended period of time.
Here’s the smoke forecast for this evening. Expect smoke in the Rogue Valley and in the Shasta Valley as well. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Air Quality Advisory: https://t.co/uFpWBXP50Q Follow @OregonDEQ for updates #ORwx #CAwx #MP97Fire #smoke pic.twitter.com/b0SWydamOi— NWS Medford (@NWSMedford) July 26, 2019
The smoke has predominantly moved to the coastal areas in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. As you can see from the satellite image at the top of the article, the smoke has also filled into the NorCal valley and will be moving down to Sacramento and the Bay Area on Sunday. Despite the warning signs of smoke, CalFire is asking NorCal residents not to report the smoke in Far NorCal.
“We have no current ongoing issues in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties,” explained Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Savona to Kym Kemp. “There is smoke in the area from the Milepost 97 fire. [However,] if people see a defined column of smoke or if they see flames, call 911. Cal Fire will keep the community informed should there be a local fire.”
DEQ said people can take the following precautions to protect their health during periods of severe smoke:
- Stay inside if possible and avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
- Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with highest concentrations.
- If you have asthma or heart or lung disease, follow your healthcare provider’s advice.
- Use certified HEPA filters in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air filters.