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 Air Quality Now tab below
and click on DEQ's Air Quality Index 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, September 5, 2017

Chetco Bar Fire - Air Quality Update September 5, 2017


  1. I have commented a number of times about the BrookingsHarbor smoke monitor. Please give us information about how we can have a real-time working monitor in our area. Does one need to be purchased, monitored, taken care of? You mention flow issues. What does this mean? We want to help and have the volunteers to do this, and money if necessary. Our entire community needs this. www.brookingsharborsoccer.com

    1. The State of Oregon, combined with Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority has approximately 42 real-time smoke monitors located around the state. While this is more than most states, it is not enough to cover all locations in need of smoke monitoring. Additionally the State DEQ has a couple of temporary smoke monitors it can deploy to supplement the permanent monitoring network. When wildfires occur, the US Forest Service can deploy its cache of temporary smoke monitors as ordered by Air Resource Advisors (ARAs) who serve on fires as requested by the Incident Management Teams. Not all fires order ARAs. These temporary monitors are deployed throughout the United States. There is a limited supply of these monitors. As in the case of this extremely busy fire season, there are not sufficient resources to keep up with demand. Additionally, like any electronic, technical piece of equipment used in a harsh environment such as near wildfires and high concentrations of smoke, the equipment sometimes fails after a period of use. When this happens, the monitor must be either repaired on site if possible, or sent back for repair. This has been the case in Brookings. During the early phases of the Chetco Bar Fire, an Air Resource Advisor was brought in and set up a smoke monitor in Brookings. During the course of the fire, the monitor's began to fail (possibly due to too much smoke, causing the pump motor to pull too hard due to the drag (decreased airflow through the monitor) on the instrument, causing failure. Airflow is important to maintain a 2 liters/min because there is a filter at the inlet to the monitor which uses a Venturi effect to filter out the larger particle only only measure the particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller (the ones that get deep in one's lungs and are regulated by EPA and DEQ). When this happened, the Air Resource Advisor, attempted to fix it on site. She was successful at first, but after another week of use in the harsh environment, the monitor was not able to be repaired in the field and was sent back for repair. A new monitor has arrived on scene and is being installed today. Hopefully, you will have PM2.5 monitoring data back on line this evening. I also understand that the State has ordered 30 new permanent smoke monitors. Perhaps Brookings will be the recipient of one of these. As an alternative to having a monitor, you can use the 5-3-1 visibility index described in a link on this website to estimate the concentration of smoke.

  2. I agree completely, and the Outreach Gospel Mission can help also. We have space to put it up, and I have installed similar instruments before. Please let me know if we can help this process.