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Smoky haze from Bend fires not likely to return to Rogue Valley today, Tuesday

 Posted: 9:10 AM June 09, 2014

Drifting smoke from Bend wildfires that flooded the Rogue Valley for several hours Sunday is not expected to return to the area today, the National Weather Service reported.

Some lingering haze remains in the south end of Jackson County and parts of Siskiyou County in California, but meteorologists say that's starting to clear up, too.

"It looks like it should stay out of our area even Tuesday," said meteorologist Mike Petrucelli. "At least in the short term, it doesn't look like we're going to feel any effects from that."

A weak system moving in Tuesday should further carry the smoke off to the east.

The smoke's origin point, the Two Bulls Fire west of Bend, has grown to nearly 7,000 acres, according to a release from the Oregon State Fire Marshal sent out today. Several neighborhood evacuations have been ordered, along with numerous road closures. The fire is burning on private lands and parts of the Deschutes National Forest. The affected lands are packed with heavy brush and timber.

"The main concern for today will be hold the lines on the southwest portion of the fire and out of the City of Bend's watershed," the release says.

The fire started Saturday afternoon. Its cause has not yet been determined.

A 24-hour air quality reading shows Bend air quality remains unhealthy for sensitive groups such as asthmatics, per the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website.

The blaze is about 5 percent contained, with 11 helicopters, 46 engines, 11 dozers and 708 firefighters assigned to fight the flames. Agencies on the front lines include the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Fire Marshal and U.S. Forest Service. To date, the cost of the firefighting efforts is $1.23 million.

— Ryan Pfeil


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