Rain showers overnight are helping to scour out the wildfire smoke that has lingered in Columbia County for the past several days.

Wet Streets

Columbia County residents awoke to rain, along with thunder and lightning, on Friday morning, Sept. 18. The rain is helping clear away wildfire smoke that has lingered in our area for the past two weeks.

Clearing

Rain showers overnight has helped clear away regional wildfire smoke that had been lingering in St. Helens and across the county for several days.

The smoke triggered air quality advisories and the Oregon Lung Associated had urged the public to take extra precautions to avoid the smoke.

The shift in the weather includes flashes of lightning and loud thunder. No word yet about any storm related issues locally.

Forecasters report over an inch of rain in some parts of Oregon. Fire agencies in Columbia County continue to stress that several days of continuous rain will be necessary to lessen the extreme fire danger in the region.

Statewide, officials are warning of flash flooding and slides in the areas of the Oregon wildfires. One 1 million acres have burned. Eight people have died and 12 people have been reported missing.

Air Quality

The Southwest Clean Air Agency, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency has continued an Air Quality Advisory, which is in effect until noon today.

A Smoke Air Quality Advisory remains in effect for much of the region. Wildfires burning in the region combined with forecasted conditions will cause air quality to reach unhealthy levels at times through this morning. However, conditions are expected to slowly improve through the morning.

Pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases, and aggravate other serious health problems. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Please follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.

For more information about air quality, visit:

Follow the latest weather updates here online.

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