Use caution driving through smoke

Heavy smoke from fires up and down the West Coast is creating hazardous driving conditions in Oregon.

A number of roads are closed throughout the state and the situation is rapidly evolving. Go to or call 5-1-1 for real time road conditions.

The Oregon Department of Transportation offers the following advice if you must drive during smoky conditions:

• 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.

• Check your entire route before setting out. Conditions may be very different at your destination.

• 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.

• Roll up the windows. Set your fan to recirculate.