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).


Friday, July 31, 2015

CONTACTS:

Jackson Baures, Public Health Division Manager, 541-774-8039

Meghan Fagundes, Oregon DEQ Air Quality Natural Resource Specialist, 541-776-6089

Date of release: July 31, 2015 / 3:00 pm

Watch for Unhealthy Smoke Levels

Jackson County health officials and DEQ urge people to watch for unhealthy smoke levels. It is important for people to be observant of the air quality during the wildfire season, smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction.

During a wildfire smoke event, Jackson County health officials and DEQ advise 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.

 

Check DEQ's Air Quality Index to see real-time air monitoring data from monitors placed around Oregon: http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx

Keep in mind that 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 information on smoke and wildfires in Oregon, visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

For information on smoke and wildfires in California, visit http://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/

For more information about wildfires and health threats from wildfire smoke, go to http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
CONTACT: Dawnelle Marshall                                            
Douglas County Health Department                           Douglas County, Oregon
 
                 High Temperatures and Smoky Air Could Cause Health Problems
 
Douglas County public health officials urge people across the State to take precautions as temperatures and air quality reach potentially unhealthy levels.
 
The National Weather Service is predicting weather that could bring prolonged wildfire smoke exposure to communities in central Douglas County. Smoke levels can rise or fall depending on weather factors including wind direction.
 
“The combination of high temperatures and wildfire smoke in the area may increase the risk of illness, especially for older adults, young children, and people with asthma, respiratory, or heart conditions,” said Dawnelle Marshall, Public Health administrator.
 
Public health officials urge all Oregonians to take the following precautions to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions.
 
· Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area. Residents can get the latest information by visiting the Oregon Smoke blog: Oregonsmoke.blogspot.com or call 2-1-1 Info.    
 
· Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous.  Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable.
 
· Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors.
 
· Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, and wood burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.
 
· Individuals with heart disease or lung diseases such as asthma should follow their health care providers’ advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.
 
· If you are highly sensitive to the smoke you may consider leaving the area until the air quality improves.
 
 Most of the people in Douglas County live in areas that do not have air quality monitors.  Using the information below may help you determine what actions you can take to minimize health effects.

Estimating visibility using the 5-3-1 Index
Determine the limit of your visual range by looking for distant targets or familiar landmarks such as mountains, mesas, hills, or buildings at known distances (miles). The visual range is that point at which these targets are no longer visible.
Ideally, the viewing of any distance targets should be made with the sun behind you. Looking into the sun or at an angle increases the ability of sunlight to reflect off of the smoke, and thus making the visibility estimate less reliable.
Once distance has been determined, follow this simple guide:
If over 15 miles
Air quality is generally good.
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
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
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
Air quality is very unhealthy, and in some cases may be hazardous. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.
Using the 5-3-1 Visibility Index
Distance you can see*
You are:
 
You have:
·  An adult
·  A teenager
·  An older child
·  Age 65 and over
·  Pregnant
·  A young child
OR
·  Asthma
·  Respiratory illness
·  Lung or heart disease
5 miles
check visibility
minimize outdoor activity
3 miles
minimize outdoor activity
stay inside
1 mile
stay inside
stay inside

No matter how far you can see, if you feel like you are having health effects from smoke exposure, take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality.  You should also see your doctor or other health professional as needed.
* less reliable under high humidity conditions
 
 For more information:
Oregon Smoke blog, for the latest on wildfire smoke and air quality across the state
 

Cable Crossing Fire near Glide and Roseburg - update

Please check back for another update regarding this fire later today. For now, here is a link to the Douglas Forest Protective Association's facebook page with current information on the fire, which will be handled by the OR Department of Forestry as of 10 this morning:

https://www.facebook.com/DouglasForestProtectiveAssociation

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015, Update


Some moderate lightning across NE Oregon late yesterday triggered a few fires. The one new fire of concern is the Rye Fire in the far NE corner of the state. It is currently about 5 miles NE of Paradise and 38 miles N of Enterprise, on Rye Ridge just above Joseph Creek. As of 10 A.M. today the fire was estimated at 800 acres with potential for growth. 

An upper trough descends on the NW over the weekend and will bring scattered lightning across eastern Oregon this weekend. The system will also bring cooler and cloudy weather, which will keep the potential for large fires low. A slow warming and drying trend will emerge next week as a ridge builds in from the south with westerly flow across most of the Pacific Northwest. Other active fires in Oregon are as follows: 

Marion OR-WIF-150208. IMT3. 19 miles SE of Detroit, OR. Start 7/18. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause: Lightning. 121 acres (+0). 95% containment. Minimal fire behavior.

Corner Creek OR-OCF-000297. IMT4. 11 miles S of Dayville OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Cause: Lightning. 29,660 acres (+0). 95% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Patrol and mop up operations ongoing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015, Update


Oregon Fire Potential: An upper trough will move through Oregon today and tomorrow bringing cool and cloudy conditions with some showers. Thunderstorms will develop over southern and eastern Oregon today although the main effects will be more cloudiness, cooler temperatures and higher humidity. Thunderstorm chances diminish through the end of the week before increasing again over the weekend across eastern Oregon. However, most of the thunderstorms are expected to possess wetting rain. upper trough will move through the area over the weekend before the ridge begins to build next week. The probability of new large fires developing through this weekend remains low.  There are still two fires ongoing in Oregon, although they are at full suppression:

Marion OR-WIF-150208. IMT3. 19 miles SE of Detroit, OR. Start 7/18. Full Suppression. Timber. Cause: Lightning. 121 acres (+0). 90% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Private land, fish hatchery, boy scout camp threatened.  

Corner Creek OR-OCF-000297. IMT3. 11 miles S of Dayville OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Cause: Lightning. 29,660 acres (+0). 95% containment. Minimal fire behavior. Patrol and mop up operations ongoing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15, 2015, Update


Dry and stable NW flow aloft will be over us for the next couple of days and burning conditions should remain benign with this scenario. A generally dry forecast is expected across Oregon for the next 36 hours with lightning decreasing significantly, although wind will increase through gaps in the Cascades and ultimately across northern portions of Eastern Oregon. Another low pressure system will drop into the Pacific Northwest over the weekend as a weak thermal trough will likely set up in the Cascades on Saturday. This could elevate burning conditions a bit across eastern Oregon with a chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday. All in all, no critical levels of "significant fire potential" are expected during the next 10 days. 

There are still two fires ongoing in Oregon, although they are all at or near full suppression at this time: 
 
Corner Creek OR-OCF-000297. IMT3. 11 miles S of Dayville OR. Start 6/29. Full Suppression. Brush/Grass/Timber. Cause: Lightning. 29,407 acres (+0). 85% containment. Smoldering fire behavior. Precipitation received. Mop-up ongoing.

West Fork OR-MAF-015153. ICT4. 10 miles SE of Dayville, OR. Start 6/29. Timber. Confine/Full Suppression. Timber. Cause: Lightning. 770 acres (+0). 15% containment. Minimal fire behavior due to precipitation.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Current Oregon Wildfire Map for July 8 - large fire map

Overall, fewer fires this week, with greater containment. Greatest potential for significant smoke impact is from the group of wildfires in central Oregon near Dayville.  Weather changes are expected later this week, with slightly cooler temps but increased possibility of lightning strikes, creating new fire potential, mostly in central and southern part of the state.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

Several fires are burning between Prineville and John Day, as well as other parts of the state. The largest of these is the Corner Creek Fire, located 11 miles south of Dayville, OR.  Yesterday, this fire grew to  approximately 10,000 acres by 4 pm.  Here's a photo from yesterday:

Corner Creek Fire


Smoke could be seen from the MODIS sensor on the Aqua Satellite overpass yesterday afternoon.

Air quality in Burns degraded to the moderate category for an hour last night, around 7 pm, but quickly rebounded to the good category.   

Fire growth is expected today with the hot, dry weather.  Today's smoke forecast shows light (pink) and moderate (dark pink) around Dayville and Mt. Vernon, with smoke traveling to the south of the fires.  

Forecasted 24-hour average PM2.5 for Thursday July 2, 2015. 

On Friday, light smoke is expected to travel south-southeast of the fires, as shown below.  

Forecasted 24-hour average PM2.5 for Friday, July 3, 2015.


On Saturday, July 4th, light smoke will travel to the southeast of the fires, as shown below.

Forecasted 24-hour average PM2.5 for Saturday, July 4, 2015.

As always, with the night time temperature inversion, smoke could settle into valleys in heavier concentrations.  Smoke typically lifts from the valleys within an hour or two after sunrise this time of year.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015

Although the following message is primarily addressing wildfires, we know that these can be large sources of smoke, which can affect communities for weeks.  As such, it seems appropriate to post this on the Oregon Smoke Blog.


A reminder from the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordinating Group

MOST WILDFIRES CAN BE PREVENTED

PORTLAND - With the July 4th holiday approaching, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire
Coordinating Group (PNWCG) would like to remind outdoor recreationists in Oregon and
Washington to use care to prevent wildfires. Parts of the region have not had significant
precipitation since mid-March, and conditions are very dry across many areas in both states.
Wildfires can start and grow much more easily when conditions are dry.

Discharging fireworks or explosives, including exploding targets, is prohibited. Fireworks can
cause costly and dangerous wildfires, especially when conditions are hot and dry and vegetation
is receptive to sparks. Fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited at campgrounds and
elsewhere on public lands. Recreationists should also check on local fire restrictions before
heading out, and consider whether a campfire is necessary.

In 2014, 1,293,685 acres burned in wildfire. Almost half of the 4,572 fires reported in
Washington and Oregon were human caused and could have been prevented. Firefighters and
land managers need everyone’s help to prevent wildfires this holiday and through the summer.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center seasonal drought outlook shows
drought conditions in all of Oregon and nearly all of Washington will likely persist and increase
through September, creating conditions that will lead to larger and longer wildfires once they
start. While there is nothing we can do to prevent lightning-caused fires, extra caution to prevent
accidental human-caused fire starts will be especially important all summer long.
“Wildland agencies work together year round to protect and maintain healthy and fire resilient
landscapes, support fire adapted communities and coordinate safe and efficient wildfire
response,” said PNWCG Chair David Summer. “We all have a role to play in protecting our
beautiful public lands here in the Pacific Northwest. Please take care to avoid starting a wildfire
when recreating this season. Protect what you love.”

Follow the Northwest Coordination Center (NWCC) on Twitter: @nwccinfo. Visit the NWCC
website for a wealth of fire information: http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/ . For more information on
Pacific Northwest Fire Adapted Communities, please visit: http://pnwfac.weebly.com/ or follow
on Twitter @PNWFAC. Details for individual fires can be found on Inciweb:
www.inciweb.nwcg.gov
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