Smoke from fires across the West drifts into C. Oregon

Next up: Smoke blowing west from Montana blazes

Smoke comes from fires across West

BEND, Ore. - From Washington to California and Idaho to Montana, wildfires are raging across the western half of the United States.

And -- as just about anyone who breathes the High Desert's smoky air of late knows -- lots of that smoke is ending up here in Central Oregon.

"The reality is actually that we're getting smoke from a lot of different places," Deschutes National Forest Public Affairs Officer Kassidy Kern said Tuesday, 

"It really depends on wind patterns and air currents, and tomorrow (Wednesday) we're actually going to get some smoke coming in from Montana fires," Kern said. 

For some people, this fire season may seem worse than those in years past. Kern said that's due to the large number of acres on fire. 

"The smoke is extra bad for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest ones is so much of the land is on fire. Cumulatively, that's impacting our air on the West Coast," she said. 

Currently, there are 81 large fires that have burned 1.4 million acres in nine western states.

"This is the worst-case scenario for our community," smoke-wise, Kern said. "We want this smoke to go out as much as anybody, and all of the West is having the same conversations at this point,"

And to answer the question everyone is asking: When will it all go away?

"The smoke will hopefully moderate as the fire activity goes down, and that's going to be across the West, and that's going to happen as we get cooler temperatures and deeper into the fall," Kern said.

According to the Forest Service, Central Oregon's fire season has actually been moderate, compared to past seasons.

But it's been a big season in general, because of all the fire activity across the region.

For more information on smoke and fires, you can check out the following websites:

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