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Sep-14-2020 14:19printcomments

Oregon Fires Cause a Smokey Traffic Hazard

Here are some steps you can take to help stay safe if you encounter heavy smoke while driving.

Salem car crash
This is one of the crashes in Salem due to low visibility over the weekend. Photo: Salem PD

(SALEM, Ore.) - There were a few crashes Sunday morning in and around Salem due to low visibility. With heavy smoke and fog blanketing much of the state, ODOT is reminding drivers the best thing they can do to stay safe is avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

Remember to check conditions if you must head out. A number of roads remain closed throughout the state. Go to or call 5-1-1 for real time road conditions.

If you encounter heavy smoke while driving here are some steps you can take to help stay safe:

  • Slow down and stay alert. Slow driving gives you more time to respond to unexpected conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights. Even during daylight hours your headlights will help others on the road see you. Use low-beams as high-beams reflect off the moisture in the air and cause glare.
  • Use fog lights. If you have them, fog lights can help cut through the smoke.
  • Keep plenty of space between you and other vehicles. Visibility, of course, decreases in smoke so maintain a safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle up front.
  • If visibility becomes too dangerous to continue, pull off to the side of the road as soon as safely possible.
  • Never stop in a travel lane. Look for a safe area completely off the road if possible and turn off all lights, including flashers, until it’s safe to continue.
  • Don’t tailgate. Keep a steady, reliable pace. Remember that everyone else on the road is in the same fix you’re in. They’re counting on you to help show the way.

Please drive cautiously if you must go out. Consider staying home, if you can.

Algunos choques hoy. Debido al humo de los incendios forestales hay poca visibilidad en algunas áreas.

Conduzca con cuidado si tiene que salir. Considere quedarse en casa, si puede.

Source: ODOT: Valley, No. Coast; Salem Police #OregonFires #OregonWildfires2020 #OregonIsBurning #BeachieCreekFire #SalemOR #salemoregon #OregonTraffic #OregonWeather


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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