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Cold, stagnant air brings poor air quality to parts of C. Oregon; freezing fog cancels and delays many RDM flights

Several parts of the High Desert were seeing fog and freezing fog Monday night
ODOT TripCheck
Several parts of the High Desert were seeing fog and freezing fog Monday night

(Update: More canceled, diverted and delayed flights before freezing fog starts to relent)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Stagnant air and cold temperatures brought poor air quality to areas of the High Desert Monday and freezing fog Monday night, causing murky and potentially slick travel conditions and canceling or delaying numerous flights in and out of Redmond Airport.

The National Weather Service issued a freezing fog advisory for Central Oregon Monday night until 10 a.m. Tuesday, while the NWS and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air stagnation advisory through 11 a.m. for some areas of the state, including La Pine.

NWS forecasters warned of hazardous driving conditions and potential frost on bridges. “Poor air quality may cause issues for people with respiratory problems,” they warned.

The Flight Status page at Redmond Airport’s website showed several flight delays and cancellations on the flight arrivals and departures pages Monday night, underscoring the need to check with your airline before heading to the airport.

The travel woes continued Tuesday morning at Roberts Field -- while Bend was very cold but sunny and clear, Redmond's airport had freezing fox and quarter-mile visibility until it began to relent at mid-morning.

Air quality readings ranged late Monday from unhealthy to sensitive groups in two Bend locations, to moderate elsewhere, including La Pine and Prineville, and good in Sunriver, Sisters, Redmond and Madras.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued an air quality advisory for the mid and southern Willamette Valley, and other parts of Oregon, due to stagnant air conditions trapping smoke and other air pollutants near the ground where people breathe.

** Información en español **

The following areas are affected:
• Salem area through Thursday morning.
• Eugene-Springfield area through Thursday morning.
• Baker City, Burns, Klamath Falls, and La Pine through Thursday morning morning.
• Jackson and Josephine counties through Thursday morning.

Check current air quality conditions and advisories on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the OregonAIR on your app on your smartphone.

Many county health and local air agencies have also issued wood burning restrictions limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces and outdoor burning. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local heath or air agency for current restrictions.

People can take the following precautions to protect their health:

• Follow local burn restrictions to prevent deteriorating air quality.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
• People with heart or lung problems and young children are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.
• Use certified High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems.
• Avoid using wood-burning stoves and other sources of indoor smoke if possible.

DEQ’s color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions and ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

Article Topic Follows: Weather

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Barney Lerten

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