Smoke Only Adds To Heat Misery

Aug 3, 2017

Smoke from wildfires in two countries only added to the misery of record-high heat in the region as the week drew to a close. 

Medford's Roxy Ann peak looms through the smoke in a view from the south.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

Air quality readings from Eugene to the north showed air reaching unhealthy levels by Thursday afternoon. 

Both Eugene and Portland reported rare temperatures over 100 degrees at the time.

The smoke in the region traces back to wildfires on both sides of the U.S./Canada border. 

The Canadian smoke plume reaches several states.
Credit Environment and Climate Change Canada via

Maps provided by Canada's Wildfire Smoke Prediction System clearly show a plume of smoke drifting south from a series of fires burning in British Columbia.

The Canadian smoke arrives just as fire season picks up momentum in Oregon and California, with several fires burning and growing quickly in the high heat.

The air quality snapshot from Thursday afternoon. The darker the red, the worse the air.

Any hopes that the smoke might diffuse the sunlight and curb the high temperatures were dashed... the National Weather Service reports temperatures on Thursday very similar to Wednesday, despite the smoke.

Temperatures are expected to drop a few degrees Friday and Saturday, but the chance of thunderstorms in Southern Oregon and Northern California is expected to rise, especially in Modoc County.  The Modoc July Complex Fires had already burned more than 80,000 acres by Thursday morning. anticipates winds from the west by Friday night, blowing the smoke in western Oregon valleys off to the east.