Fires Burn; Smoke Blankets Valley

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sun, August 12 2012 at 6:44 PM, Updated: Sun, August 12 2012 at 6:53 PM

Look up in the sky and most likely you'll see smoke. It's wafting into the Rogue Valley from multiple fires burning in our area. One of them is the Barry Point fire 22-miles southwest of Lakeview.

"It has grown, the last acreage we received was 30,725 acres," said Hallie Rasmussen, spokesperson for the Barry Fire.

The Barry Fire grew about 10-thousand acres since Saturday because of the dry, hot weather. So far officials say it's 25-percent contained.

"Good news is we have 24-hour around the clock staff on [...] and tonight the relative humidity is supposed to go up a little bit so that might help as well," said Rasmussen.

Meantime, over the border into northern California, the Fort Complex fires, made up of three separate sites, are still burning in the Red Butte Wilderness Area near Applegate Lake. So far more than 900 acres have been consumed and at this point it's only seven percent contained.

For both the Barry Point and Fort Complex fires, growth potential remains high.

It means more smoke in the Valley, which could potentially get some people sick.

"It's the ones who have respiratory issues, such as asthma or the very young. They have a smaller respiratory tract so it's harder on them," said Dr. Mona McArdle who practices at Valley Immediate Care.

McArdle says people sensitive to smoke, should not over exert themselves, stay inside, and use medications like emergency inhalers if needed.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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