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. Round icons represent permanent state air quality monitors, triangular icons represent temporary smoke monitors (when deployed).


Saturday, August 15, 2015

08/15/2015 Air Quality Smoke Report for SW Oregon

Air Quality Report for Southwest Oregon                     Issued for August 15, 2015
Rogue River-Siskiyou and Umpqua National Forests     Time: 11:00

Smoke Synopsis:
Yesterday: Widespread smoke impacts remained in SW Oregon but did not exceed Moderate levels at any monitors. Crescent Fire continues to be the leading smoke producer in SW Oregon with contributions from Collier Butte and Stouts.

Today: Smoke dispersion will depends on your location as northwesterly winds dominant. Changing wind direction will elevate smoke impacts in Shady Cove and Prospect while air quality improves in Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Provolt, & Tiller. Smoke from planned burnouts will be generating impacts as wildfires are secured. Areas near and downwind of wildfires may experience Unhealthy or USG AQ levels.  Azalea and Upper Cow Creek Road may be impacted due to proximity to Stouts Creek fire burnout. Crescent Fire in Crater Lake NP is the major smoke producer.  Crater Lake NP is being impacted by Crescent Fire, part of National Creek Complex. Check NPS webcams for air quality status. http://www.nps.gov/crla/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Tomorrow: Meteorology indicates potential for repetitive tranquil winds (light and variable) with a continuing Northwest flow. Air conditions are projected to remain the same for Sunday.
Prepared by Air Resource Advisors: Gary Curcio (252-624-7635, gary.curcio@gmail.com),
Janice Peterson (206-484-4353,
jlpeterson@fs.fed.us) and
Michael McGown (208-994-1316, mcgown.michael@epa.gov)

Air Quality Outlook:
Location
Yesterday
August 14th
Today
August 15th
Tomorrow
August 16th
Comments
Cave Junction
Moderate
Good
Good

Grants Pass
Moderate
Good
Good

Klamath Falls
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Medford
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Provolt
Moderate
Good
Good

Shady Cove
Moderate
USG
USG
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Eagle Point 19
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Jacksonville 215
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Ashland 216
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Potential impact from Stout & Crescent Fire burnouts
Tiller 23
Moderate
Good
Moderate
North wind flow should help improve air quality
Prospect 16
Moderate
USG
USG
Potential impact from Crescent Fire burnout
Disclaimer:  Air quality predictions reflect only fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Sensitive individuals including people with asthma or heart disease, infants, children, pregnant women and older adults should take precautions to avoid exposure to smoke. If you experience health effects from smoke, contact your doctor or health professional.

AQI Category
(PM2.5 µg/m3)
Potential Health Impacts
Actions to Protect Yourself
Good (0-12)
Little or no health risk
None
Moderate (13-35)
Air quality is acceptable for most. There may be moderate health concern for a small number of sensitive people.
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups – USG (36-55)
Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects.  The general public is not likely to be affected.
People with heart or lung disease, children and older adults should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.  Everyone else should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy (56-150)

Everyone may begin to experience more serious health effects.
The following groups should avoid all physical outdoor activity: People with heart or lung disease, children and older adults.  Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy
(151-250)
Triggers a health alert, everyone may experience more serious health effects
Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
Hazardous (>250)
The entire population is even more likely to be affected by serious health effects.
The following groups should remain indoors and keep activity levels low: People with heart or lung disease; children and older adults. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion
Learn more at:
b) Oregon DEQ Air monitoring http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx

4 comments:

  1. Hi, Thank you for keeping up this blog, I appreciate the information. I have a question about air quality that I am hoping you can shed some light on. There are a lot of times when air quality index shows moderate or even good levels, but when I go outside the nearby hills are hazy and it smells like a campground. Why the inconsistencies between what is reported and what I see/smell? Makes it hard to depend on the air quality ratings. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your question. The answer is probably more complicated than you'd expect. First I'm guessing/hoping that you're looking at a colored monitor icon on one of the maps? The explanation of why what you see or smell at any moment may differ from the AQI color displayed starts with the fact that an official AQI is a 24 hour average. So for example when we post in our table the AQI for yesterday it's based on the average air quality from midnight to midnight. But there's also a recognition that air quality conditions can change rapidly especially during a wildfire. So EPA has a formula that tries to guess what the 24-hour average for the day will be by weighing recent values more than older values. So the ratings that display on our blog map use this national approach to calculating the AQI. Oregon DEQ uses a slightly different method where they have an AQI scale based on a 1-hour average and a simple running 24-hour average and they rate their stations as the worst of the 2 calculations. (See their map at the DEQ Air Quality link it the top of the left column) I hope that helps a little! And of course the air quality in your exact location may be different from the air quality at a particular monitor.

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  3. Thank you for the explanation. I think I get it. The colored monitor icon from your map is what I am going off of. What I think I understand you saying is that the most recent reading is not the reading at the moment of the time associated with the reading. Instead it is an average reading based on the overall air quality in the past 24 hours, weighted slightly heavier for readings more recently to try and reflect current state of air. I am curious why they do not just show the current reading...why average at all? I could understand averaging for possibly trying to predict the next 24 hours based on the past 24 hours (though we know it can change at the drop of a dime). Why have the current reading based on the past 24 hours and not just the current reading?
    I know it may be hard to explain, but if you can,I am just so curious. Also (being new to wildfire territory) I am just trying to figure out when it feels ok to take my kids (and toddler in particular) outside, or open the house in the evening or morning to let in some cool air.
    I am trying to use the distance calculation too but find it hard not knowing the actual distance of the hills and such from my home.
    Thank you so much for your quick response and thoughtful explanation!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It sounds like you understand exactly how the icon colors work. So why the 24-hour average versus a shorter term average? Simply because virtually all the research relating air quality to health is based on long term studies in urban environments. There's very little real research to know what, if any, health effect may be caused by breathing high concentrations for short periods of time. Typically a healthy person (adult) should not be too terribly worried about breathing some smoke for a few hours or a few days. Respiratory irritation, coughing, runny nose would all resolve and likely have no lasting effects once the air clears. It's probably similar to smoking cigarettes for a time - a day, or a week or two - and then quitting. Would there be long term health effects from this short time as a smoker? Probably not. Children are in the more sensitive group so are cautioned at lower concentrations.

    ReplyDelete