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).


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gap Fire affecting air quality in Southwest Oregon

Visibility at Crater Lake National Park is impacted by smoke from the Gap Fire burning on the Klamath National Forest in California.


The Gap Fire, about 90 minutes south of Ashland on the Klamath National Forest in California will continue to impact air quality in Southwest Oregon, including the Rogue Valley. As of noon, smoke impacts were greatest near the Oregon/California border with reduced visibility along Interstate 5. Smoke is also reducing visibility in Crater Lake National Park about 100 miles to the northeast of the Gap Fire. 

The 24-hour air quality particulate matter 2.5 monitors in Ashland and Medford currently show good, or green conditions. However, forecasts call for light smoke to move over the Ashland area by mid-afternoon, potentially leading to moderate air quality. During the overnight hours, air quality should remain good in Medford, though farther south into Ashland, pockets of reduced visibility and moderate air quality may continue. The worst overnight smoke impacts will occur near the Oregon/California state border and along Oregon State Route 66 between Ashland and Klamath Falls.

For tomorrow, forecasts indicate that smoke will continue to impact visibility in Soutwest Oregon, with similar impacts as today. Conditions may change throughout the day. Check the latest air quality readings and sign up for alerts in your area.

For the latest information on wildfires visit InciWeb.

Also check out EPA's Air Quality for Particle Pollution to better understand air quality forecasts.

Looking north along I-5 at milepost 0.2 in southern Oregon.




Health officials, DEQ urge Jackson County residents to watch for unhealthy smoke levels

Health and Human Services
Public Health Division
140 S. Holly St. Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-8209
Fax: (541) 774-7977




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS: Jim Shames, Health Officer, 541-951-8838, Katherine Benenati, DEQ, 541-686-7997
DATE OF RELEASE: August 30, 2016/noon

Watch for Unhealthy Smoke Levels

[Medford, OR] - Jackson County public health officials and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are offering information about steps residents can take to avoid illness from wildfire smoke inhalation. 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.
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. Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors, including wind direction.
Take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
• Limit your exposure to wildfire smoke.
• 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.
• Drink lots of water - staying hydrated can keep your airways moist which will help reduce symptoms of respiratory irritation such as scratchy throat, running nose and coughing.
• Check current air quality conditions. Visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/ for current air quality information.
• 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.
Keep in mind that monitoring locations are limited and pollution levels may be higher in some areas, especially those closer to a wildfire. It is important to conduct a visual assessment. People can conduct a visual assessment of nearby smoke to quickly get a sense of air quality levels using the 5-3-1 Visibility 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. As a general rule of thumb: if you can clearly see the outlines of individual trees on the horizon it is generally less than five miles away.
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 visibility is well over five miles, the air quality is generally good.
• Even if visibility is five miles away but generally hazy, 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 five-mile range.
• If under five 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 three 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. These people should minimize outdoor activity.
• If under one mile, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.
The best way to reduce your exposure to wildfire smoke is 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.
• 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

Aug. 30 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: Cloud cover today will bring slightly cooler temperatures and higher humidity.  Temperatures will be in the 70s, minimum relative humidity will be 12-17%.  Winds will be South-Southwest 8-15 mph, gusting to 25 mph on ridges.  The inversion in Unity will lift around 1100AM.  Wednesday will continue the trend of cooling temperatures, improving humidity, and increased stability. 
Fire Activity: The fire is 65% contained at approximately 39,600 acres.  Fire activity Monday was primarily consumption of unburned interior fuels in the Monument Rock Wilderness.  Work to secure containment lines and mop-up continues around the wilderness perimeter.  A couple of small spot fires occurred and were contained.   
Smoke Summary:  Monday, smoke production increased somewhat from Sunday and moved over Unity to the Northeast.  As a result, smoke conditions were Good in all communities except Unity and Baker City.  Tuesday, expect similar smoke impacts to Monday.  Unity and Baker City will have Moderate conditions.  The inversion in Unity will be more noticable than in the past several days.  John Day, Prairie City, Vale and Burns will have Good conditions.  
Air Quality Outlook
Sites with air quality monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
John Day
Good
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Baker City
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Smoky skies throughout the day
Burns
Good
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Unity
Moderate

Moderate

Moderate
Smoky throughout the day
Prairie City
Good
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Sites without a monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
Vale
No data
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Disclaimer: Conditions may change quickly. These predictions are based on anticipated weather and fire activity. AQI estimates for sites do not represent a full 24-hour time period.  Instead they reflect a period of time within the day where smoke impacts would be greatest.
AQI Index
Actions to Protect Yourself
Good
None

Moderate
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups*- USG
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           
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

Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
Hazardous
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

*  Sensitive Groups include people with heart or lung disease, children, pregnant women and older adults

Monday, August 29, 2016

Wildfire smoke, ash affecting Rogue Valley

The Gap Fire burning in Klamath National Forest in California is impacting air quality in the Rogue Valley. The fire is in Seiad Valley about 90 minutes southwest of Ashland. The 24-hour air quality monitors for particulate matter 2.5 are currently yellow or moderate in Ashland, meaning sensitive groups such as children and older adults should consider reducing prolonged outdoor activity. All other air quality monitors in the area are currently green or good.

Conditions may change throughout the day. Check the latest air quality readings and sign up for alerts in your area. For the latest information on wildfires visit InciWeb.

Also check out EPA's Air Quality for Particle Pollution to better understand forecasts.

Aug. 29 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for today from 2:00PM to 9:00PM due to very low relative humidity, strong gusty winds, and very unstable atmospheric conditions.  Temperatures will be in the high 70s to high 80s, minimum relative humidity will be 8-15%.  Winds will be South-Southwest 10-15 mph, gusting to 30 mph on ridges.  Tuesday will bring a 25% chance of thunderstorms and a gradual cooling trend for the week.
Fire Activity: The fire is 60% contained at approximately 39,000 acres.  Fire activity Sunday was primarily blacklining in support of containment lines along the south and east perimeters adjacent to the Monument Rock Wilderness. 
Smoke Summary:  Sunday, smoke production from the fire was significantly reduced from Saturday. As a result, smoke conditions were Good in all communities in the impact area.  Monday, will be different, with Moderate conditions impacting Unity and Baker City.  Overnight Easterly winds will bring slightly elevated levels to John Day and Prairie City Monday morning.  Vale and Burns will have Good conditions.  
Air Quality Outlook
Sites with air quality monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
John Day
Good
Good
Good
Hazy morning before afternoon clearing
Baker City
Good
Moderate
Moderate
Smoky skies this afternoon
Burns
Good
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Unity
Good

Moderate

Moderate
Smoky throughout the day
Prairie City
Good
Good
Good
Hazy morning before afternoon clearing
Sites without a monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
Vale
No data
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Disclaimer: Conditions may change quickly. These predictions are based on anticipated weather and fire activity. AQI estimates for sites do not represent a full 24-hour time period.  Instead they reflect a period of time within the day where smoke impacts would be greatest.
AQI Index
Actions to Protect Yourself
Good
None

Moderate
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups*- USG
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           
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

Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
Hazardous
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
Info on how to use Visibility to estimate health impacts from wildfire smoke

*  Sensitive Groups include people with heart or lung disease, children, pregnant women and older adults

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Aug. 28 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: Today’s weather will be much like yesterday’s but with Southwest winds.  Warm and dry conditions continue: temperatures will be in the mid-70 to mid-80s, minimum relative humidity will be 13-19%.  Winds will be 5-10 mph, gusting to 20 mph on ridges, shifting from Southwest to Northwest around 5:00PM.  Overnight winds will shift from Northwest to Northeast to Southeast.  Monday will see Southwest winds and an increase in mid and high clouds. 
Fire Activity: The fire is 58% contained at 34,369 acres.  Fire activity Saturday was a combination of consumption of unburned fuels within the Monument Rock Wilderness and successful blacklining operations on its east and west perimeters.     
Smoke Summary:  Saturday, fire activity lifted smoke to westerly transport winds, which carried the smoke high above and beyond Vale. Smoke conditions were Good in all communities in the impact area.  Sunday, most smoke impacts will be local to and east of the Monument Rock Wilderness.  Unity, John Day, Prairie City, Baker City, Vale and Burns will have Good conditions.  Baker City and Vale will have hazy skies.  Overnight winds may elevate conditions briefly in John Day and Prairie City Monday morning. 
Air Quality Outlook
Sites with air quality monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
John Day
Good
Good
Good
Hazy morning Monday before afternoon clearing
Baker City
Good
Good
Good
Good conditions and hazy skies
Burns
Good
Good
Good
Good throughout the day
Unity
Good

Good

Good
Good conditions with smoky skies again to the southeast
Prairie City
Good
Good
Good
Hazy morning Monday before afternoon clearing
Sites without a monitor
Site
Yesterday
Today
Tomorrow
Notes for today’s forecast
Vale
No data
Good
Good
Good conditions and hazy skies
Disclaimer: Conditions may change quickly. These predictions are based on anticipated weather and fire activity. AQI estimates for sites do not represent a full 24-hour time period.  Instead they reflect a period of time within the day where smoke impacts would be greatest.
AQI Index
Actions to Protect Yourself
Good
None

Moderate
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups*- USG
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           
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

Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.
Hazardous
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
*       Sensitive Groups include people with heart or lung disease, children, pregnant women and older adults