August 22, 2015

Where there's smoke...

I've been smelling wood smoke all day, and I was beginning to wonder if Beaverton was burning down. Actually it's smoke from the Cougar Creek Fire, which was started by lightning on August 10 and has been burning ever since on the east face of Mount Adams.

The problem with fighting it is that it's really a long way away from anything, in the middle of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It's pretty much equidistant from Portland, Tacoma, and Yakima. And current weather isn't helping: hot, dry, and gusty. Plus it's burning through a big area of standing-dead Lodgepole Pine killed by bugs to its north, which is nearly ideal firewood, dry and full of resin, and pine needles all over the ground. So the current estimate for containment is October 1. (!!)

They may not be seriously trying to stop it in the north, both because it's particularly dangerous there, and because in the long run getting rid of all those dead trees will be a blessing by opening up the land.

But it sure does smell scary here right now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 01:55 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 185 words, total size 1 kb.

1 National Weather Service says your air is unhealthy to breath right now.

Posted by: Ben at August 22, 2015 05:13 PM (S4UJw)

2 I guess I better stop, eh?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 22, 2015 05:43 PM (+rSRq)

3

I thought you were kidding, but you weren't.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR
447 PM PDT SAT AUG 22 2015

ORZ006-007-010-011-014>016-WAZ039-045-046-240000-
GREATER PORTLAND METRO AREA-CENTRAL WILLAMETTE VALLEY-
NORTHERN OREGON CASCADE FOOTHILLS-NORTHERN OREGON CASCADES-
UPPER HOOD RIVER VALLEY-WESTERN COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE-
CENTRAL COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE-GREATER VANCOUVER AREA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...HILLSBORO...PORTLAND...WILSONVILLE...
OREGON CITY...GRESHAM...TROUTDALE...SALEM...MCMINNVILLE...
WOODBURN...STAYTON...DALLAS...SANDY...ESTACADA...
SILVER FALLS STATE PARK...SWEET HOME...GOVERNMENT CAMP...
DETROIT...SANTIAM PASS...PARKDALE...ODELL...CORBETT...
ROOSTER ROCK...MULTNOMAH FALLS...CASCADE LOCKS...HOOD RIVER...
VANCOUVER...BATTLE GROUND...RIDGEFIELD...WASHOUGAL...YACOLT...
AMBOY...NORTH BONNEVILLE...STEVENSON...CARSON...UNDERWOOD
447 PM PDT SAT AUG 22 2015

...AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT SUNDAY...

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY HAS ISSUED AN AIR QUALITY
ALERT...IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM PDT SUNDAY.

A SMOKE AIR QUALITY ALERT HAS BEEN ISSUED. WILDFIRES BURNING IN THE
REGION COMBINED WITH FORECASTED CONDITIONS WILL CAUSE AIR QUALITY TO
REACH UNHEALTHY LEVELS. AIR QUALITY MAY BRIEFLY REACH VERY
UNHEALTHY LEVELS LATE TONIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING.

POLLUTANTS IN SMOKE CAN CAUSE BURNING EYES...RUNNY NOSE...AGGRAVATE
HEART AND LUNG DISEASES...AND AGGRAVATE OTHER SERIOUS HEALTH
PROBLEMS. LIMIT OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AND KEEP CHILDREN INDOORS IF IT
IS SMOKY. PLEASE FOLLOW MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU HAVE A HEART OR LUNG
CONDITION.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...PLEASE VISIT THE WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.OREGON.GOV/DEQ

For whatever it's worth, it hasn't been annoying so far; none of the "eyes burning" or any of the rest of that. At least so far.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 22, 2015 05:48 PM (+rSRq)

4 By the way, they're full of it. The wind shifted and now I can't smell any wood smoke at all.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 22, 2015 09:09 PM (+rSRq)

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