Smoke blows into region from Russian forest fires

Smoke blows into region from Russian forest fires

27 July 2012

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Russia– The smoke obscuring the hills surrounding the Rogue Valley today is likely caused by massive fires burning in Russia, weather officials said.

The smoke is traveling across the Pacific Ocean and pushing into the Rogue Valley, according to Marc Spilde, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“The winds are carrying the smoke all the way across the Pacific,” Spilde said.

The Global Times is reporting that thousands of acres in eastern Russia are burning, sending up massive plumes of smoke that are blowing eastward.

Spilde said the fires have been burning for some time and the smoke has been hovering over the Pacific for several days.

When the wind blows in from the west, this smoke seeps into the Rogue Valley.

“When it comes in, it doesn’t stay around very long,” Spilde said.

It’s difficult to gauge when the smoke will enter the area because a think layer of clouds hangs above the ocean, making it hard to see the smoke, Spilde said.

There are no fires nearby in western Oregon or Northern California, Spilde said.

“The closest fires are in the eastern side of the state,” Spilde said.

The smoke form eastern Oregon won’t enter the valley because the wind is blowing from west to east, Spilde said.

Spilde added that the smoke should thin out in the coming days.

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