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).


Sunday, August 19, 2018

News Release: DEQ, SWCAA issue air quality advisory for Southwest Washington, Portland metro, North Coast, Willamette Valley

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued an air quality advisory for portions of Southwest Washington, Portland, the Oregon North Coast and much of the Willamette Valley. 

Conditions are expected to worsen this evening and smoke is expected last through Wednesday. In Oregon, the advisory covers the following counties; Benton, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill. Lane County is not currently under the advisory, but conditions there could worsen in the next few days depending on weather and wildfire conditions. Check http://www.lrapa.org/ for the latest advisories there. 


In Washington, the advisory covers Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties. 
In Oregon, an air quality advisory remains in place for Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties where wildfire smoke has affected air quality for the last month. 


Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store. 


The Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/ 


The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous. 


People can take the following precautions: 
- Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations. 
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions. 
- If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke. 
- Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. These residents are encouraged to stay indoors. 
- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers. 


Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities so it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves. 


Contact: DEQ: Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-600-6119, benenati.katherine@deq.state.or.us 

Sunday and Monday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern California Border


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder

Sunday and Monday Smoke Outlook Update for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires



View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon 

Friday, August 17, 2018

News Release: DEQ issues air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties


Medford, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties, as wildfire smoke continues to affect large portions of Southwest Oregon.
 
Air quality advisories issued earlier in the week for Portland, portions of Northeastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley have expired because conditions have improved there.

Poor air quality has lingered in much of Southwest Oregon since mid-July. While smoke levels may rise and fall, air quality is expected to be a concern for some time due to weather and fire conditions. Air quality conditions were unhealthy for sensitive groups on Friday morning in Medford, Ashland and Lakeview and unhealthy in Shady Cove, Chiloquin and Klamath Falls.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store.

The Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/    

The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

People can take the following precautions:

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

- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

- If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke.

- Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. These residents are encouraged to stay indoors.

- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.


Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities so it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.


Friday and Saturday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern California Border


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder

Friday and Saturday Smoke Outlook Update for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Long Unhealhty Stretch for Medford -- Stats from the National Weather Service



If you live in the Rogue Valley, this post will reaffirm what you already suspected: This is the longest period of unhealthy air quality on the books for the city. (At least since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started taking records.)

The National Weather Service pulled together these graphics through Aug. 14. (And yes, we’ve only added to the unhealthy tally each day since then.) By Aug. 14, Medford had already seen 19 days on unhealthy air, topping all of 2017 and far exceeding the number of unhealthy days in 2015 and 2013.

Some takeaways from National Weather Service:

  • This smoke event started much earlier than most smoke events
  • We have some hope that air quality will improve by early September, if previous events are any indicator (2017 being an exceptionally long event).
  • Those predictions can change depending on weather and fire activity


 

Thursday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern California Border

View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder

Thursday Smoke Outlook Update for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires

View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Statewide Smoke Forecast for Wednesday and Thursday



The Air Quality Index at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.  See the map above for current conditions.
Highlights
·         Air quality in Northern Oregon improved modestly overnight into Wednesday morning.
·         A trough off the coast will bring stronger onshore flow (westerly winds) for Thursday into Northwestern Oregon leading to improved air quality for Willamette Valley locations.
·         No significant improvement in air quality is expected in Central and Northeastern Oregon for the next 24 to 36 hours.
·         Major air quality impacts will continue throughout Southwestern Oregon through the forecast period.

Despite a modest improvement in air quality throughout Northern Oregon overnight, major air quality impacts were still occurring across the majority of the state at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug.15, 2018. In the north, a marine air push brought some improvement to air quality for the Portland metro area by Wednesday morning. However, moderate to unhealthy air quality levels remain in the metro area. There was also some improvement east of the Cascades from the surface level onshore flow (westerly winds) where air quality was in the unhealthy for sensitive groups level for La Grande, Pendleton, and The Dalles on Wednesday morning compared to unhealthy levels observed yesterday morning. As forecasted yesterday, air quality in the southern Willamette Valley declined overnight with widespread moderate conditions now observed in the Eugene area compared to good levels on Tuesday morning. In Central Oregon, unhealthy for sensitive groups air quality prevailed throughout the Bend area Wednesday morning. In Southern Oregon, where smoke has been persistent for several weeks, air quality deteriorated even more overnight into Wednesday morning with widespread unhealthy air quality indices reported across the region.

For Wednesday, air quality in Northern Oregon should improve slightly throughout the day as westerly winds help scour some of the surface level smoke, particularly in the northern Willamette Valley. The marine air push should also keep coastal locations relatively free of wildfire smoke impacts. However, smoke higher above the surface will likely persist over Western Oregon throughout the day, as south to southwest winds at the mid-levels bring smoke from Southwestern Oregon northward. Accordingly, hazy skies should be expected in the major population centers of Western Oregon despite some modest improvement in surface-level air quality on Wednesday. East of the Cascades, air quality will likely remain in the moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups level throughout the day on Wednesday for locations such as Bend, Enterprise, John Day, La Grande, Pendleton, and The Dalles. In Southern Oregon, smoke from the Klondike and Taylor Creek fires, as well as those in Northern California, will continue to produce unhealthy conditions for Ashland, Crater Lake, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Medford on Wednesday.

On Thursday, there may be a slight improvement in air quality for Southern Oregon, but pollution at the unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy levels is expected to persist. Likewise, conditions throughout Central Oregon are unlikely to improve significantly on Thursday. The biggest improvement in air quality for Thursday should occur in the Willamette Valley with a trough off the coast bringing a stronger marine air push inland.


Near-surface smoke forecast from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model for Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. (top) and Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 at 4 p.m. (bottom).
  
Disclaimer: Forecasting weather, fire behavior, and smoke transport and dispersion is challenging. While we strive to bring you the most up-to-date and accurate forecasts, conditions can and do change rapidly. Please take the appropriate action to protect yourself. 


New Guidance from the Oregon School Activities Association on Outdoor Practices and Events

Ashland High School on Aug. 9, 2018. The Rogue Valley has seen long periods of unhealthy air quality this wildfire season.

The Oregon School Activities Association has some updated guidance on its website for anyone making decisions on whether to cancel, suspend or restart practices or sporting events based on poor air quality.

The organization developed the guidance in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority. The guidance includes specific recommendations, information on the visibility index, information on what steps to take when the air quality index is moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy or very unhealthy.

Check out the guidance and learn more about health impacts under the Smoke and Health tab above. (We've updated the OSAA guidance link on that page too.)

Wednesday and Thursday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern Oregon California Border


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder 

Wednesday and Thursday Smoke Outlook for Long-Valley Idaho (includes Enterprise)


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/LongValley-Idaho

Wednesday and Thursday Smoke Outlook for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires




View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Statewide Smoke Forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday

The Air Quality Index at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.  See the map above for current conditions.

Forecast Issued:  Aug. 14, 2018
Forecaster:  James Miller, USDA Forest Service
At noon on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, major air quality impacts were occurring across the majority of Oregon, a dramatic change from Monday morning when many locations were reporting good air quality. Smoke from wildfires burning in British Columbia and Washington drifted into Northern Oregon during the early evening hours on Monday, lowering air quality to the moderate category for much of the Portland metro area, with moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups air quality in the northeastern part of the state.
Overnight, more smoke aloft settled into lower elevations causing the air quality to deteriorate to unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy levels across all of Northern Oregon, including the Portland metro area. As a result, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality  issued an air quality advisory for Portland, Northeastern Oregon, and portions of the Willamette Valley. In addition, DEQ extended the air quality advisory already in place for Jackson and Josephine counties and portions of Klamath County through the weekend.
For the rest of Tuesday, air quality is not expected to improve significantly anywhere in the state. In fact, air quality will likely deteriorate for areas not yet impacted by wildfire smoke. This includes Cottage Grove, the Eugene metro area, and Roseburg, where air quality was in the good category at noon on Tuesday. However, by the late afternoon and early evening hours, additional wildfire smoke will enter the southern Willamette Valley, likely lowering air quality to unhealthy for sensitive groups.
On Wednesday, most Oregon locations will continue to experience degraded air quality and hazy skies, though some improvement in air quality may occur in the Portland metro area due to a switch to westerly (onshore) winds during the daytime. Regardless, skies throughout the western portion of the state will remain hazy due to upper-level smoke moving north from Southwest Oregon, which is expected to continue for the next several days. The High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model model forecasts that the biggest improvement in air quality and visibility on Wednesday will likely occur along the Oregon coast coinciding with the shift to westerly (onshore) winds.
In summary, the state of Oregon is currently experiencing major air quality impacts with these expected to continue for the next 24 to 36 hours until the thermal trough currently west of the Cascades moves east of the mountains bringing marine air into Northwestern Oregon. However, this will not reduce smoke high above the surface, thus skies will remain hazy even if surface air quality improves throughout the Willamette Valley. Southwestern Oregon will likely experience the most persistent smoke impacts and generally worst air quality in the state continuing into the weekend.


Above: Near-surface smoke forecast from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model for Tuesday,
Aug. 14, 2018 at 6 p.m. (left) and Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 4 p.m. (right).

News Release: DEQ issues air quality advisory for Portland metro, northeastern Oregon, portions of Willamette Valley, extends advisory for Southwest OR


Portland, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued air quality advisories for the Portland metro area and Southwest Washington where smoke from wildfires burning in Washington has created unhealthy air quality.

DEQ also issued an air quality advisory for portions of Northeastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley and  extended an existing air quality in Jackson and Josephine counties and portions of Klamath County. Air quality is expected to be a concern there through the weekend.

Conditions in the Portland metro area should improve by Wednesday afternoon, but high-level smoke and haze will linger through the week there. Smoke is expected to drift farther south into the Willamette Valley and upper-level smoke is also expected to linger there. Smoke is expected to last through the weekend in Northeastern Oregon with levels rising and falling. Light winds could bring some clearing on Thursday.

Air quality was unhealthy in a number of cities along the Interstate 84 corridor on Tuesday morning including Hillsboro, Portland, The Dalles, Pendleton and La Grande. Portions of the Willamette Valley including Salem and Corvallis were seeing moderate air quality. In Southwest Oregon, air quality monitors in Medford and Ashland were both unhealthy, while air quality was very unhealthy in Shady Cove and unhealthy for sensitive groups in Klamath Falls.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fire activity and weather factors including wind direction. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store.
The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.
The Oregon Health Authority urges residents of affected communities to take steps to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions.
Be aware of the level of health risk posed by area wildfire smoke. Get the latest information by visiting the Oregon Smoke blog. Go to http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com or call 2-1-1.

Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous. Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high. If smoke levels are expected to remain high for more than two days, they might consider leaving the area until air quality improves. Others can avoid smoke by staying indoors with windows and doors closed. True high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and non-ozone producing electrostatic precipitator (ESP) air cleaners and filters can help keep indoor air cleaner.

Reduce other sources of indoor smoke. Avoid burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, wood-burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.

If you have heart disease or lung disease, such as asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Go to the Oregon Smoke Blog at http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com, for the latest on wildfire smoke and air quality across the state. The blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources.

Contact: DEQ: Laura Gleim, Public Affairs Specialist, Portland, 503-229-6488,  gleim.laura@deq.state.or.us


OHA, Delia Hernandez, 503-422-7179, External Relations, delia.hernandez@state.or.us



Tuesday and Wednesday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern Oregon California Border


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder 

Tuesday and Wednesday Smoke Outlook for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon

Tuesday and Wednesday Smoke Outlook for Long-Valley Idaho (includes Enterprise)


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/LongValley-Idaho

Monday, August 13, 2018

Statewide Smoke Forecast for Monday and Tuesday

The Air Quality Index at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.  See the map above for current conditions.
Forecast Issued:  Aug. 13, 2018
Forecaster:  James Miller, USDA Forest Service
 
At 9 a.m. on Monday Aug. 13, 2018, good air quality prevailed over the majority of Oregon. While conditions improved over the weekend in Southern Oregon, wildfire air quality impacts still existed Monday morning in Southern Oregon with moderate air quality indices reported at Ashland, Klamath Falls, Lakeview and Medford.

Moving ahead into the rest of Monday, air quality and visibility will degrade throughout the state with high pressure off the North American coast moving smoke from Washington and British Columbia southward. By mid-afternoon on Monday, hazy conditions will exist along the entire Oregon coast, as well as the Portland metro area, and throughout Northeastern Oregon from The Dalles east to the Idaho border. However, air quality levels should remain in the good to moderate quality for most of the northern portion of the state as smoke from the north may remain mostly in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere. Nonetheless, haze will reduce visibility throughout Northern Oregon, with dramatic red-orange skies likely around sunset, a sight that’s become quite familiar for many Oregon residents and visitors this summer. In Southern Oregon, including Ashland, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls and Medford, air quality will likely degrade to unhealthy for sensitive groups or unhealthy levels with locally worse conditions possible southwest of Grants Pass in Cave Junction and Selma. For Monday afternoon, the best air quality and visibility in Oregon is expected in the central portion of the state from the southern Willamette Valley (e.g. Eugene) east to Bend, the John Day Valley and Baker City.
Near-surface smoke forecast from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model for Monday, August 13, 2018 at 3 p.m. (above) and Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 12 p.m. (below).
On Tuesday, hazy conditions will exist throughout the entire state, with significant air quality impacts expected in the south where continued unhealthy for sensitive groups or worse air quality will likely continue. In the central and northern regions of the state, morning air quality may reach moderate or possibly unhealthy for sensitive groups levels if smoke from the upper-levels settles near the surface overnight.



News Release: DEQ issues air quality advisory Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties


Medford, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for Jackson and Josephine counties and portions of Klamath County, particularly around Klamath Falls, as wildfire smoke continues to affect large portions of Southwest Oregon.
Air quality is expected to be a concern through Thursday morning. At 9 a.m. Monday morning, air quality was very unhealthy in Shady Cove, unhealthy for sensitive groups in Medford and moderate in Klamath Falls. Conditions are expected to worsen this afternoon.
Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fire activity and weather factors including wind direction. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map. The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store.
The Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/    
The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.
People can take the following precautions:

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

- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

- If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke.

- Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. These residents are encouraged to stay indoors.

- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.



Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities so it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.



Contact: DEQ: Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-600-6119,  benenati.katherine@deq.state.or.us 

Jackson County: Tanya Phillips, Jackson County Public Health, 541-770-7708, philliTF@jacksoncounty.org

Klamath County: Ramona Quinn, rquinn@co.klamath.or.us Valeree Lane, vlane@klamathcounty.org  541.882.8846

Josephine County: Michael Weber, Public Health Director, 541-474-5339, mweber@co.josephine.or.us

Monday and Tuesday Smoke Outlook for Southern Oregon and Northern Oregon California Border


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/California-OregonBorder 

Monday and Tuesday Smoke Outlook for Southwest Oregon Taylor Creek and Klondike Fires


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/sworegon

Monday and Tuesday Smoke Outlook for Long-Valley Idaho (includes Enterprise)


View a version of this outlook with live links at https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/LongValley-Idaho

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018

Clearing Things Out: What to Do When The Air Clears


The view of Grizzly Peak from Ashland on Aug. 3 one of the clearer days recently.

Some relief from smoky conditions may be in sight early this weekend for the Rogue Valley, Southeastern and Eastern Oregon as winds help push smoke out of those areas.

If air quality does improve in your area here are some things to do while you have the chance:

    • Air out your home
    • Clean and vacuum
    • Run errands
    • And if conditions really clear up in your area, get outside -- maybe even get the pets outside.
Local conditions can vary and conditions can change rapidly, so keep an eye on the Air Quality Index. As those of you who live in smoke-prone areas already know, fire and weather conditions can be hard to predict.

If you are able to get out and about this weekend, remember remote areas, where many wildfires occur, don’t always have air quality monitors. One way to gauge smoke levels when monitoring data isn’t available is by using the 5-3-1 visibility index.

Earlier this week we shared some advice on how to keep indoor air healthy during sustained periods of smoke. Remember to keep those handy since relief will most likely be temporary.


The more common view of Grizzly Peak this summer.


Klamath County News Release: Forecast calls for better air quality over the weekend

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Weather forecasts and fire mop-up projections have Klamath County Public Health officials predicting slightly improved air quality over the weekend for the Klamath Basin.

The fires in Southwest Oregon and Northern California were expected to become active as the inversion layer lifted Friday morning, but winds are expected to clear out some residual smoke. Improvement in the air quality index is expected, but will likely remain unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with respiratory and cardiac conditions.

Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-80s Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures can make the smoky conditions more uncomfortable. Knowing the range of air quality numbers can help people make good choices about outdoor activities.

The six levels of the air quality index are:


·         Good is 0 to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

·         Moderate is 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people.

·         Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this range, people with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk.

·         Unhealthy is 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.

·         Very Unhealthy is 201 to 300. This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.

·         Hazardous is greater than 300. This would trigger a health warning of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

Residents are encouraged to visit https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map to learn the current air quality index.