Smoke in air affecting Eugene air quality

Smoke in air affecting Eugene air quality
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EUGENE, Ore. - Smoke from slash burns is the likely culprit for the haze in the sky over South Eugene and Cottage Grove, South Lane Fire District said.

The Lane Regional Air Protection Authority recorded air quality in the moderate category Thursday, with more particulate matter than the air monitors recorded Wednesday.

Slash burns are a way to dispose of woody debris from timberlands, whether as a fire prevention technique or after logging.

Backyard burning is banned in urban areas, but rural residents have been allowed to burn debris since October 1.

Willamette Valley residents should always call LRAPA’s open burning hotline, (541) 726-3976, before burning to verify that burning is allowed on any given day.

Coastal residents can call (541) 997-1757 for daily outdoor burning advisories.

Burning trash and garbage is illegal and can result in fines. Burning on prohibited days or after designated hours is also a citeable offense, LRAPA said. The first violation of LRAPA’s open burning rules may result in a $500 fine.