Tuesday, September 22, 2009


There's been an ugly brown cloud in the east for most of the afternoon, and it's been getting uglier and darker as the day has gone on. I noticed an article this morning talking about the fire danger associated with the kind of weather we're having:
A fire warning is in effect for many areas in the Cascades as dry conditions combined with high winds have crews on alert. Any blaze that starts in the mountains could quickly blow up into a major fire under the current conditions, according to fire officials.
But I hadn't seen any news about any large fires that were actually ongoing. A little while ago I stuck my head out the door, and it seemed noticeably worse, so I came in and Googled Oregon Fire. Yeah, there's a pretty bad one.

The likely culprit: Fire officials said the Tumblebug Complex exploded in acreage overnight from 500 acres to more than 2,200 acres.

Markos said she has fielded reports Tuesday morning of smoke and ash in south Eugene along Willamette Street; in Lowell, Ore.; and in downtown Eugene.

"As long as we have really low humidities and the wind speed picks up, that fire is going to get larger and we are going to get smoke in the valley," Markos said.

It seemed to smell a little smokey last time I was out, but I'm not certain. 2200 acres isn't huge for Oregon, but it's substantial. The hot, dry weather and the east winds that are causing it are expected to last through tomorrow, then taper off through Thursday.

Most Oregon wildfires are in the Cascades or the east side, and the prevailing winds are most often from the west, so we don't generally see serious smoke here in the valley. It's ominous, and I don't like it.

No comments: