Coast winds keep wildfire smoke out of Curry County – so far

A large plume of smoke form the Milepost 97 wildfire can be seen from nearby downtown Riddle.               

The 13,000-acre Milepost 97 wildfire along Interstate 5 near Canyonville continuous to be dangerous, authorities report.

Officials said nine firefighters have been injured battling the blaze, which broke out July 24, likely as the result of an illegal campfire.

Smoke advisories are posted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for unhealthy air conditions in the immediate area and portions of the Rogue Valley, but the DEQ’s Laura Gleim said. “We don’t expect it to push west into Curry County (because of Pacific Coast winds).

“But there is a definite possibility the winds could change quickly.”

The DEQ is keeping watching the smoke and winds using monitoring stations and a partnership with the Curry County Health Department.

“We are checking in during the week to determine if any advisories are needed,” Gleim said.

The DEQ said it has established an air index map that pinpoints air-quality conditions throughout Oregon.

The map can be seen at oraqi.deq.state.or.us.

The DEQ also offers Oregonair, a free cellphone app, which tracks air quality across the state.

The Milepost 97 wildfire has forced limited evacuations and currently has about 1,500 firefighters assigned to the blaze.

It is reported to be about 30% contained.

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