SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- If you're outside and have lung or heart issues, be very careful: RiverBend hospital saw one acute asthma attack in emergency room Wednesday.
Smoke from two Oregon wildfires is blanketing the southern Willamette Valley. The smoke is so bad you can barely see the outline of the hills east of Springfield from atop Kelly Butte.
Protect Your Health Against Air Pollution
"Red category means the air is unhealthy for just about everybody," said Sally Markos with the Lane Regional Air Protection Authority.
"We've had reports the smoke is making its way all the way to Canada," Markos said.
All that smoke is driving more patients to doctors offices and allergy centers.
"We're expecting an increase in calls probably in the next day or two," said Dr. Jason Friesen with Oregon Allergey Associates. "We've already seen a few."
The smoke can make you sick:
- People with asthma, heart and lung disease are most at risk for problems from the air.
- Older adults and young children 2 years and under are most vulnerable.
- Even healthy adults should avoid prolonged exercise.
"We haven't seen a large number fortunately," said Dr. Gary Youn, the ER director at RiverBend hopsital, "and I checked and we haven't had to admit anybody overnight."
Air quality got worse as day went on
Air quality in the Eugene/Springfield area severely worsened Wednesday as smoke and ash from forest fires in the Cascades settled into the southern Willamette Valley.
The air in Eugene/Springfield rated "Unhealthy" at noon, meaning "everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects."
The last time the air in Eugene/Springfield reached this level was in June 2008 during the Eugene 08 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials when smoke from fires in California reached the area.
Lane Regional Air Protection Agency monitors on Wednesday morning showed worse air quality in Eugene than in Oakridge, which is just 24 miles from the Tumblebug Complex, one of the major fires raging in the Cascades.
YouNews reporter bannersix posted this and other stunning photos of the Tumblebug fire:
Two fires in Douglas County upped the ante Wednesday: the Boze and Rainbow fires are on a collision course near Tiller, Ore. However, DEQ air monitors showed only moderate air quality problems in Roseburg.
Eugene and Springfield residents again woke up to cars covered in ash and soot from the fires.
YouNews reporters have been busy capturing the smoke's impact.
Dougswallypapers posted this and other photos of the smoke in Oakridge, Ore.
Rodnbill posted this photo of the haze over Springfield at 30th Tuesday night.
Zane1030 captured the haze right outside the window.
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