Weather traps air pollution in skies over Eugene

Weather traps air pollution in skies over Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. - Like a lid on a soup kettle, an air inversion is slowly turning the air over Eugene-Springfield airshed into pea soup.

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency declared a yellow woodburning advisory Tuesday, urging homeowners to avoid using wood to heat their homes, if possible.

"We call a yellow advisory when we see air quality beginning to deteriorate and we want to make sure that we don't have to go to a total burn ban," said Sally Markos with LRAPA.

The inversion is trapping particles from wood stove smoke in the atmosphere. The problem is more pronounced in areas like South Eugene, where the South Hills create "pots" with smoke trapped under the inversion layer like a "lid."

The proof came early this month when LRAPA's Amazon Park testing trailer measured the highest particulate reading in years - a reading that exceeded federal standards for air quality.