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Breezes, rain help clear the air of smoke.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Recent breezes and a spurt of rain have cleaned the choking smoke from Eugene-Springfield, significantly improving air quality.

Haze from the Siuslaw River Fire and field burning Monday sat trapped in the southern part of the Willamette Valley, making breathing difficult for the very young and old and those with respiratory problems.

But air quality bumped into the "good" range Tuesday, helped by a brief cloudburst and afternoon winds that continued through Wednesday, Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority spokeswoman Kim Metzler said.

While the Air Quality Index for Monday was 100, a "moderate" rating, the index improved Tuesday to 33, a "good" rating, and was 39 on Wednesday, also good.

The index averages air quality over the course of 24 hours and is calculated using measurements of a variety of pollutants.

An index of 0 to 50 is considered good, 51 to 100 is moderate, 101 to 150 may pose problems for groups that are sensitive to air quality. Above 150, everybody begins to suffer health effects from the pollution.

Barring a shift in the winds or more field burning, today's air quality should stay in the good range, Metzler said.
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Title Annotation:Environment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 22, 2002
Words:194
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