Oregon Smoke Information

Map Notes:

The map above is not able to show all state air quality monitors. To see the whole set, go to the left column, under Hot Links
and click on DEQ Air Quality map which will bring up a map with many additional state monitors.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Air Quality Report and Outlook for 8/30/14
The deception fire grew 149 acres yesterday as a result of interior burning and burn out operations to strengthen perimeter control lines.  Smoke from the majority of this increase vented to the southeast in the late afternoon and evening with valleys winds blowing out of the west. Overnight, the more stable conditions trapped emissions at the elevation of the fire. These emissions will drop into the valley late this morning peaking before noon and then clearing as a result of increased west winds this afternoon. 

We forecast the air quality in Oakridge and Westfir to reach Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups near noon for a short period before west valley winds will clear the area of the majority of pollutants. We anticipate the afternoon conditions in Westfir and Oakridge to improve to the Moderate range.

On Sunday, another frontal system will result in north winds that should push the majority of smoke to the South.
Saturday Morning forecast
Aug 30, 2014
Saturday Afternoon forecast
Aug 30, 2014
Saturday Evening forecast
Aug 30, 2014
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Hills Creek Lake Area

Friday, August 29, 2014

Crews make small gain against blaze

But the Deception Complex fire near Oakridge could still flare up if winds increase

Officials had evacuated for a short time a mobile home park along Highway 58 and about 60 homes along LaDuke Road on Wednesday evening after weather conditions allowed the Deception Complex fire to more than double in size to 1,832 acres from 851 acres. The residents remained on a Level II — or be prepared to leave — standby alert Thursday night.
The fire flared up again Thursday afternoon, as officials had predicted earlier in the day, but it wasn’t as intense as on Wednesday.
“It doesn’t look as bad as it was at this time yesterday,” Rick Acosta, spokesman for the interagency team leading the firefighting efforts, said late Thursday afternoon.
Ground crews were able to reinforce fire lines Thursday where the blaze had rapidly grown and jumped the lines a day earlier, he said. They were assisted by helicopters dumping water and fire retardant on the flames.
More than 1,000 personnel, nine helicopters and more than 40 engines were on the scene Thursday, Acosta said.
Cooler temperatures forecast starting today and continuing through the weekend are expected to aid firefighting efforts. But officials at a news conference Thursday said they are concerned that winds may strengthen or become increasingly unpredictable this weekend.
Residents put on alert said they were breathing a little easier Thursday compared with the day before.
“I feel like we’re going to be okay, unless things switch dramatically overnight” and that seemed doubtful, said Jerry Shortt, who lives on LaDuke Road.
Shortt, 70, and his cousin spent hours Wednesday and Thursday watering down his 7 -acre property with sprinklers and hoses. It’s the closest wildfire has gotten in the nearly 40 years he’s lived on the property, he said. The fire was kept at bay Wednesday night, but burnt leaves rained down on his property.
Acosta reminded residents who have been put on alert to remain vigilant.
“Residents should take that seriously,” he said of the Level II standby alert. “There is still fire in the area.”
The fire was burning west of the Middle Fork ranger station on Highway 58 on the other side of a tall ridgeline. The ranger station, located about four miles west of Oakridge, was closed.
Lightning storms caused the first fires in the area in July, with an Aug. 10 storm causing at least one new fire in the area.
Meg Mitchell, Williamette National Forest supervisor, said Thursday that firefighters had been focusing on digging fire lines to contain the fire rather than attempting to extinguish it because the steep terrain was deemed unsafe for firefighters.
The fire had been about half contained Wednesday but quickly grew that afternoon when changing weather conditions brought in warmer and drier air, officials said.
Three smaller fires merged, and the blaze was able to jump containment lines and run up the ridgeline separating it from the homes. Burning debris ignited a few small spot fires on the hillside above the homes before firefighters quickly extinguished them. No structures were lost.
“It made all its push in a couple-hour period, then it set down,” said Shawn Sheldon, another Willamette National Forest official.
The smoke settled over Oakridge and caused air quality in the eastern Lane County town to deteriorate to unhealthy levels both days. The city’s air quality remained at an unhealthy level Thursday night.
In response to the unhealthy air quality, the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency advised residents to stay indoors, if possible, and limit outdoor activity, especially for children, senior citizens and people with heart and lung conditions.
The smoke has drifted into Bend and Cottage Grove, and the Waldo Lake Recreation Area farther east in the Willamette National Forest was reported to be very smoky.

Highway 58 remained open to traffic, although smoke limited visibility at times. Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Rick Little said it is possible the highway may be closed at some point due to the fire.
“We’ve also notified the contractor on a paving project east of Oakridge to be prepared to leave the highway quickly if such notification is necessary,” Little said Thursday. “That contractor is currently making a strong push to complete the paving today.”

Little also said people traveling over the holiday weekend should stay informed about the fire, be prepared to take an alternate route, and be ready for the unexpected if their route includes Highway 58.
At the Deception Creek Mobile Home Park on Thursday morning, Phil Macabee, 76, was gathering up belongings to return to his daughter’s home in Oakridge.
The smoke has been keeping away from the area in recent weeks, giving comfort to the residents, he said, but everything changed when the wind shifted Wednesday.
Macabee was attending an informational meeting Wednesday afternoon at the ranger station when he was told to go home due to the Level II standby alert.
He returned home to find the plume of smoke rising near the mobile home park, turning the setting sun red.
A neighbor told him about the Level III evacuation order at around 6 p.m., and he, his wife and their seven cats left to stay the night at their daughter’s home. As the fire settled for the night, officials returned to a Level II standby alert a short time later.
Macabee said he wasn’t getting worked up about the uncertainty because the fire was out of his control.
“You can’t accomplish anything worrying,” he said. “You have to have a plan of action and act.”
He also praised the work of the firefighters. They’ve done as good a job as humanly possible,” he said.
Officials said residents appeared to be taking news of the fire in stride.
“Overall, I’d say the community is pretty used to wildfire,” said Tom Lavagnino, another fire team spokesman.
Reporter Jack Moran contributed to this report.
Follow Christian on Twitter @RGchill . Email christian.hill@registerguard.com .

Deception Fire Update 8/29

       The Deception Fire grew by 313 acres yesterday.  Smoke from the fire was observed down drainage to the northwest as far as Dexter and up into the Cascades as far as the crest and O’Dell Lake on the Deschutes NF. The smoke started to disperse early afternoon however much of it remained trapped in the drainages. Smoke levels increased in Oakridge and along HWY 58 early Friday morning.
     Expect smoke to increase through the morning around Oakridge to Unhealthy Levels for Sensitive Groups and worsen to Unhealthy in early afternoon for a short period.  Smoke should lift later in the afternoon with increasing winds and improve back to Unhealthy Levels for Sensitive Groups.  

Air Quality Outlook (Particulate Matter less than 2.5 ┬Ám in diameter)

Friday Morning forecast
Aug 29, 2014
Friday Afternoon forecast
Aug 29, 2014
Friday Evening forecast
Aug 29, 2014
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Hills Creek Lake Area
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Air in Central and Southern Oregon unhealthy for sensitive groups due to wildfire smoke yesterday and this morning

News Release: Aug. 28, 2014

DEQ provides tools people can use to determine air quality conditions during smoke events

Air quality in and around Klamath Falls deteriorated Wednesday night and in Bend Thursday morning and is unhealthy for sensitive groups, including those with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children, are advised to stay indoors. Poor air quality conditions are a health threat and should be avoided by all residents in smoky communities. Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors, including wind direction.

How healthy is the air in your community? Check DEQ’s Air Quality Index to see real-time air monitoring data from monitors placed around Oregon.

On the west side of the Cascades, the air quality index reached the “unhealthy” range in Oakridge yesterday for the first time this year. The Deception Creek Complex fire near Oakridge also caused the Eugene/Springfield area to reach the “moderate” range. Visit the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency website for updates on smoke levels in Lane County.

During wildfire smoke events, DEQ urges residents to take the following precautions:

• Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.

• Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, and by closing windows and doors.

• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

• People exposed to smoky conditions and who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.

What if your community doesn’t have an air quality monitor? Monitoring locations are limited and pollution levels may be higher in some areas, especially those closer to a wildfire.

Conduct a visual assessment: People can conduct a visual assessment of nearby smoke to quickly get a sense of air quality levels. Generally, if you can see up to 15 miles, the air quality is probably good. If you can see less than one mile, the air quality is very unhealthy and everyone should avoid outdoor activities. Refer to the descriptions below for more information based on how far you can see in various conditions:

Between 5-15 miles: Air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate, and is generally healthy, except possibly for smoke sensitive persons. The general public should avoid prolonged exposure if conditions are smoky to the point where visibility is closer to the 5 mile range.

If under 5 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness. These people should minimize outdoor activity.

If under 3 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid all outdoor activities.

If under 1 mile: The air quality is very unhealthy, and in some cases may be hazardous. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.

For more information on using the visibility index during wildfires, visit www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/visibility.htm

For more information on smoke and wildfires in Oregon, visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com.


Larry Calkins, DEQ Air Quality Program, Bend, 503-752-9374

Tom Kuhn, Deschutes County Health, Bend, 541-322-7410

William Knight, DEQ Communications, Salem, 503-757-1889





Sky Lakes Wilderness 790 Fire Update

Date:  August 28, 2014, 11:00 am


SOUTHWEST OR— Recent mapping of the 790 Fire has reported a total of 2,095 acres burned.  Crews continue their efforts on the eastern portions of the fire near the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Currently, a Type 3 Incident Management Team (Edwards) is managing the full fire suppression efforts.  Today a Type 2 Incident Management Team will be briefed regarding the current fire situation.  This Type 2 Incident Management Team is expected to assume management of the 790 Fire Friday, August 29, 2014.


The Pacific Crest Trail south of the Crater Lake National Park and north of State Highway 140 remain closed.  This trail closure recently was modified to address the recent fire activity.  The following trails were added to the previous trail closure: Nannie Creek Trail, Cherry Creek Trail and all trails which depart Cold Spring Trail Head.  For full closure details please refer to



Firefighting resources currently assigned to the suppression activities are 75 wildland firefighters, 12 rappellers, and 24 smokejumpers which are all supported by a 10-mule pack string and seven helicopters.


The Klamath Basin recently has been plagued with fire smoke issues.  Due to the jet stream flow of the recent days, the smoke experienced in the Klamath Basin is primarily from the wildland fires currently burning in California.  Ash deposits can be found anywhere heavy smoke can be seen. 


The 790 Fire is located in the Sky Lakes Wilderness with a primary southern edge located one mile south of Big Ben Creek and east to Snow Lakes.  The northern edge of the fire remains south of Finch Lake.  This 790 Fire resulted from the lightning activity that occurred July 31, 2014 and is located in an area difficult for crews to access safely.  The terrain is rugged and rocky with much blow down debris and standing snags, which prevent firefighters from safely and actively engaging with the fire perimeter.


As the Labor Day holiday approaches, firefighters asks recreationalists to be aware that the fire fuels continue to dry and fire danger remains High.  Please be aware of current restrictions and closures.


Contact: Scott Blower, Acting Public Affairs Specialist, 541.471.6745




Where is the smoke coming from in Klamath Falls?

Below is a model run conducted by the USFS from a fire in the Sky Lakes Wilderness North and West of Klamath Falls.


Blue Sky Model Run – Time Series

Klamath Falls – August 28th Blue Sky run

Klamath Falls August 27th – 9PM – #790 Fire Sky Lakes Wilderness Wildfire 2095 acres

Klamath Falls August 28 2AM

Klamath Falls August 28 – 6AM

Klamath Falls August 28 9AM

Klamath Falls August 28 2PM




Smoke from Deception Creek Wildfire Complex

Where is the smoke coming from in Bend? Below is a time series from a USFS Model Run showing the predicted smoke impacts from the Deception Creek Wildfire Complex.


Blue Sky Run – Time Series from 8:30 this AM


Bend - August 28th run

Bend - August 28, 2014 at Midnight - Deception Creek Complex Fire near Oakridge - 946 acres


August 28 – 4AM Deception Creek Fire

Bend – August 28 11AM Deception Creek Fire

Bend August 28 3PM - Deception Creek Fire