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A rare peek at the Sun from I-5 this morning showcases the density of wildfire smoke choking the Rogue Valley this week. That is the outline of Pompadour under the sun, a rocky outcrop normally in clear view from the freeway. Having lived here through the Silver Fire of the late 80s and the Biscut Fire two years ago I’d have to say these conditions are every bit as smokey as those giant fires that burned for months. Updates on fire conditions and containment are available at the Southwest Oregon Fire website. Governor Kitzhaber declared Douglas and Josephine Counties as emergency situations.
Particulate levels are at dangerous highs throughout the region and people are being advised to stay inside when possible, especially those with health conditions that could worsen with exposure.
The National Weather Service also has the region under a red flag warning for the next two days for potential thunderstorms moving through today and Thursday. More lightning than rain is expected, a worse case scenario for firefighters.