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High Temps, Smokey Haze on Oregon Coast This Weekend, Beach Fire Bans

Published 09/09/22 at 4:35 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

High Temps, Smokey Haze on Oregon Coast This Weekend, Beach Fire Bans

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(Oregon Coast) – UPDATE: SOUTH COAST IS CURRENTLY IN THE 90s. With now all of the Oregon coast under a red flag warning, the area will also be seeing usually high temps, a lot of smokey haze from wildfires to the east, some closures, and possibly some public safety power shutdowns. The entire coastline is now under a beach bonfire ban along with forests. The south coast was just issued an air quality alert until 5 p.m. Saturday. (Above: Neptune Beach, Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

The Oregon Department of Forestry Astoria District has declared an Extreme Fire Danger for the North Oregon Coast, and the National Weather Service just issued an air quality alert for the southern two thirds of the coast and southern Oregon due to heavy smoke from wildfires in the east. See Red Flag Warnings for Oregon Coast / Washington Coast, Power Shutdowns

Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) today issued a ban on campfires in forests and beach bonfires because of the intense dry heat and heavy winds hitting the state and its coastline on Friday and Saturday.

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) also banned campfires in all state forests. The entire coastline is now under the same red flag warning, with the south coast just added late Thursday.

Seaside added its own fire ban from Friday after midnight to late Saturday.

Temperatures along the coastline will be much higher than usual, with some areas expected to hit the 90s, while most beach towns will be sweltering in the 80s. For those trying to escape the heat or any of the planned blackouts by heading to the coast, they may not find relief. Areas slightly inland from the beaches such as Astoria or Tillamook will likely get into the 90s.

Highs will be around 80 on Friday and / or Saturday along much of the northern Washington coast as well. Florence may see the highest temps.

Extreme low humidity and heavy east winds are creating severe fire dangers, and thus the fear that power lines may come down and spark major fires. Some areas in the Portland metro area down through the Coast Range, Yamhill Wine Country and into the Willamette Valley will see some power cuts for as long as a few days.

These fire conditions are also prompting OPRD to ban all beach fires and campground fires.

According to OPRD:

"No wood, charcoal briquettes, candles, tiki torches and other devices that emit flames or embers. Propane stoves and other cooking devices that have a shutoff valve are allowed. Look for signs at all beach access points."

Seaside Fire & Rescue also boosted the ban in town.

“All campfires in Seaside (including beach fires) are prohibited, trails are closed to motorized use, and most spark-emitting activities are prohibited, such as welding in forest environments, non-industrial use of chainsaws, and mowing of cured grasses,” the department said.

Offroad vehicles are also banned in regional forests and beaches.

How long will all this last?

Above: the Oregon coast may look like this (taken several years ago when smokey haze came here from major fires in Russia)

OPRD spokesman Chris Havel told Oregon Coast Beach Connection the end may not coincide with the end of the red flag warning. He said State Parks takes guidance form ODF, and that department may have the beach bonfire bans go longer than the weekend to be on the safe side.

All trails are closed to motorized vehicles – that includes those around Bandon.

An air quality alert has been issued for much of the entire western half of the state and the south Washington coast, coming from the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Portland and Medford. On the beaches this is in effect from Lincoln City to Brookings. For those hoping to escape not just the heat but bad air quality due to smoke, the coast may not provide a lot of relief for that, either.

“Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecast conditions will cause air quality levels to fluctuate and could be at unhealthy levels,” the NWS said.

To find Oregon Coast Hotels to get away from power shutdowns

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

Some recreation areas will actually close for the duration of this weather event, such as a handful in Newport.

The city plans to close off the eastern part of Agate Beach (the beach itself is open), along with areas around Schooner Creek, Little Creek, Big Creek and Forest Park.

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