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Tuesday (9/16/14) Afternoon Update: Smoke and Air Quality Information - 36 Pit Fire

A change in conditions from the last few days has cleared much of the smoke from most of the areas impacted by the 36 Pit Fire, located approximately 30 miles SE of Portland.  Higher humidities should reduce fire activity (and associated smoke production) while a general flow from the southwest will keep this trend in place the next couple days.  Some smoke will drain down into valleys below the active fire areas overnight, but nowhere near as significant as it has been.  Areas northeast of the fire along the US 26 Corridor (Mt. Hood Highway), from Sandy east to Rhododendron may see increased impacts Wednesday, with moderate air quality conditions expected. The Willamette Valley should stay reasonably smoke-free through Thursday.

Showers here and there Thursday may reduce impacts further in most areas. On Friday and Saturday, another weather change is expected with warmer, drier conditions and smoke moving back towards the Willamette Valley.

Forecast locations of the highest 3-hr average smoke impacts - 6 pm Tuesday 16 September 2014. Winds from the southwest are moving smoke to the northeast.  Impacts to the southeast of the 36 Pit Fire are from other fires in Oregon and California.

Forecast locations of highest (dark red) 3-hr average smoke impacts - 6 am Wednesday 17 September 2014. This image shows mostly drainage smoke in valley locations below the active fire areas (drifting down towards the southwest) while the light red areas to the northeast represent primarily residual smoke from the previous afternoon and evening.