Air Quality in Mapleton Degraded

Air quality for residents in the area surrounding the Sweet Creek Milepost 2 fire is degraded.  Travis Knudsen from the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency says even without sensors in the area the presence of heavy smoke is a danger to health.

“It’s pretty easy to just be up there and you say there’s a lot of smoke in the air and if you see that then you know the air quality is less than ideal.”

Knudsen says that LRAPA has invested in a commercial grade air quality sensor, but until now they have not had a host for the Mapleton area, but that is scheduled to change.

“It looks like tomorrow we will be able to install a purple air sensor up in the Mapleton area.”

Knudsen says if you live in the Mapleton area it would be advisable to get to a place in the valley or along the coast in Florence where the air quality is good.

COVID-19 Update

The Oregon Health Authority is reporting that coronavirus cases in the state continue to be on the decline.  Positive case rates are about 631 per 100,000.  Half of the cases reported are people that are 50 and older, yet the largest percentage of a single age group is in the 20-29 year old group.  Yesterday there were 140 new cases reported for the state as numbers eclipse the 27,000 mark at 27,075.  11 of those cases were in Lane County which brings the county total to 737 cases and no new reports in the Florence area.  There were three new deaths added yesterday: a man and a woman in their 70’s and an 84 year old Washington County man.

Construction to Begin

The City of Florence has announced the beginning of construction of a long-awaited stormwater project in Coastal Highlands area.  Beginning next Tuesday materials and equipment will begin staging in the area of Willow Loop between 16th Street and 18th Court.  Megan Messmer with the City of Florence says that some of the water drainage issues in the area are due to landscaping that has moved into the right of way and water is not properly draining in the area.  The city will be installing a series of catch basins, manholes and stormwater piping.

Pet Food Bank Day

The Oregon Coast Humane Society is taking advantage of the Labor Day Weekend to celebrate National Pet Food Bank Day.  Beginning tomorrow through Monday people can drop off canned or bagged food, toys, treats, bedding, kitty litter collars and leashes either at the shelter, Mini Pet mart, or at the Florence Food Share.  Executive Director Charles Brown says he has seen an uptick in the need for food and supplies since the pandemic began and expects the need to increase over the winter.  He say if people need food or support they can contact the shelter.