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, July 31, 2018

Klamath County News Release: Air quality issues prompt questions about using face masks


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2018
Contact: Ramona Quinn, rquinn@co.klamath.or.us  Valeree Lane, vlane@klamathcounty.org, 541.882.8846


KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County continues to experience severe smoke intrusion from regional wildfires, creating hazardous air quality concerns. Public Health officials are fielding questions about the use of face masks to reduce smoke exposure.

The Oregon Health Authority has prepared the following information.
People who must be outdoors may be considering the use of masks to help protect their lungs from wildfire smoke. Masks can create a false sense of security if not properly selected, fitted and used. 

There are a few things to know if you are considering the use of a mask:
  • Avoid the use of surgical masks, bandanas and other common masks. These have not been shown to prevent smoke exposure.
  • Those with questions about use of masks in the workplace should contact their employers, or Oregon OSHA at http://osha.oregon.gov/.
  • There are specialized masks that may prevent some smoke exposure.
  • Most people will find it difficult to use these specialized masks, called particulate respirators, in a way that provides protection.


Considerations about particulate respirators include:
  • Selecting the correct respirator size can be difficult.
  • The type of respirator that is able to filter out harmful smoke particles is not available in children’s sizes.
  •  The fit of the respirator must be tested to make sure air does not leak around the sides. Leaking air means that exposure to smoke can still occur.
  •  Facial hair can cause the mask to seal incorrectly.
  •  The masks can be uncomfortable. Even healthy adults may find that the increased effort required for breathing makes it uncomfortable to wear a respirator for more than short periods of time. Breathing may be even more difficult for those with heart and lung conditions.
  •  Care must be taken to select a “particulate respirator” that is marked with the word “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it.


Residents are encouraged to visit https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map to learn the current air quality index. Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. The six levels of health concern and what they mean 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. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.
  • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
  • 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 warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

      Weather conditions and smoke levels can vary dramatically during wildfires. Conditions can change as frequently as hourly. In the last two days, Klamath County has ranged between unhealthy and very unhealthy.

Smoke Forecast for Eastern Oregon through Wednesday Aug. 1, 2018

The Air Quality Index at 10 a.m. See the map above for current conditions.

Forecast Issued:  Tuesday July 31, 2018

Forecaster:  James Miller, USDA Forest Service

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, moderate air quality prevailed across Eastern Oregon. An upper-level high pressure ridge centered over Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon will produce another hot day east of the Cascades with daytime temperatures running 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average with hazy skies and moderate air quality expected to remain over the region for most of the daylight hours on Tuesday. 

Over the next 24 hours, the ridge will move eastward as an upper-level trough approaches the Pacific Northwest coast. This will result in gusty southwesterly to westerly winds that should provide some improvement in air quality across Eastern Oregon, possibly returning to good air quality conditions in the Grande Ronde Valley by later this evening and early Wednesday morning.

Near-surface smoke forecast from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model.

However, both the AIRPACT 5 and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh smoke models suggest strong southwesterly winds aloft on Wednesday afternoon will transport smoke from Northern California and Southern Oregon to much of Southeastern Oregon, particularly south of Baker City where air quality could degrade to unhealthy for sensitive groups. 

Notably, both the AIRPACT 5 and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh models forecast a sharp transition between relatively good and degraded air quality on a southwest-to-northeast line from roughly Klamath Falls to Baker City. North of this boundary, good air quality should occur by late afternoon Wednesday, while air quality south of this line may deteriorate. Given the sharp near-surface smoke transition depicted by the models, small shifts in the forecast could result in more widespread air quality impacts on Wednesday afternoon into northeastern Oregon, including the Grand Ronde Valley.

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.


Tuesday and Wednesday Smoke Outlook for Rogue and Shasta Valleys/I-5 Corridor


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

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Tuesday and Wednesday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Gold Beach, Agness)



View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder 

Smoke Outlook for Crater Lake Area for Tuesday and Wednesday




View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CraterLakeArea 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The View from Klamath Falls This afternoon


Here's the view in Klamath Falls today around 2:45 p.m. Thanks to Jim Carey at Klamath County Public Health for sharing. (Now, we hope you're back inside!) An air quality advisory is still in place for Klamath, Jackson and Josephine counties and parts of Lake County.


Poor conditions are expected to last at least the next several days. Remember to check the Air Quality Index or map on this page for current air quality conditions.


Air quality in Klamath Falls -- and Medford, Ashland, Provolt and Lakeview -- was unhealthy at 2 p.m. according to DEQ's Air Quality Index. Air quality in Shady Cove and Cave Junction was very unhealthy. A very unhealthy or purple reading means that everyone may experience more serious health effects. An unhealthy or red reading on the Air Quality Index means that everyone may begin to experience health effects and everyone should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.


Learn more about precautions you can take when air quality in unhealthy under the smoke and health tab above.

DEQ adds portions of Lake County to Existing Air Advisory for Klamath, Josephine and Jackson

Lakeview -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has extended an air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties, which are being impacted by smoke from a number of wildfires. It has also added portions of Lake County including Lakeview.

Air quality is expected to be a concern for at least the next several days. As of 9 a.m. on Monday morning, air quality was unhealthy in Lakeview, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Medford, Provolt, Grants Pass and Cave Junction. It was very unhealthy in Shady Cove.

Read the full advisory.

Monday and Tuesday Smoke Outlook for Rogue and Shasta Valleys/I-5 Corridor


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

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Monday and Tuesday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction, Gold Beach, Agness)


View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder 

Smoke Outlook for Crater Lake Area for Monday and Tuesday




View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CraterLakeArea 

Friday, July 27, 2018

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

Medford, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has extended an air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties, which are being impacted by smoke from a number of wildfires.

Air quality had improved somewhat late in the week in Klamath Falls and the Rogue Valley where conditions were very unhealthy and even hazardous at some monitors earlier in the week. An air quality advisory was in place for the same counties from Monday to Thursday.

With hot weather, light winds and a number of wildfires burning, air quality is expected to worsen at least through the weekend. As of 11 a.m. on Friday, air quality was very unhealthy in Shady Cove and unhealthy in Medford and Cave Junction.
A very unhealthy or purple reading means that everyone may experience more serious health effects. An unhealthy or red reading on the Air Quality Index means that everyone may begin to experience health effects and everyone should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
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 index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate (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 (greater than 300) is hazardous.
Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction.
Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities. For this reason, it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

DEQ and county health officials are urging residents to take precautions from wildfire smoke. 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. People in any of these groups might consider leaving the area until air quality improves.

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

Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/   



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

Smoke Outlook for Crater Lake Area for Friday and Saturday


View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CraterLakeArea 

Friday and Saturday Smoke Outlook for Rogue and Shasta Valleys/I-5 Corridor


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

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Friday and Saturday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction)


View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder

Jackson County News Release: An Additional Air Monitor in Central Point for Country Crossings


CONTACT:  Tanya Phillips, Jackson County Public Health, 541-770-7708
DATE OF RELEASE: July 26, 2018. 6:00 PM


[Medford, OR] - Jackson County Public Health has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to place an additional air monitor in Central Point, at the Expo to monitor the air quality from wildfire smoke during the Country Crossings event.

To check the status of air quality for the Country Crossings event, people will need to access the Oregon Smoke Information Blog http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/. If people are accessing the blog from a phone, you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “View Web Version.” The air monitor for this location is a triangle on the map and located near Medford.

For people who are attending the Country Crossing events, these are recommendations if it is smoky outside:
·         Drink lots of water! Staying hydrated can keep airways moist which will help reduce scratchy throat, headaches, running nose and cough.
·         Take breaks from being outside in the smoke.  There is the BoxCare Stage that has air conditioning and can provide relief from the smoke if needed.
·         People with respiratory and heart health issues may be sensitive to the wildfire smoke. If you feel you need medical attention, there is medical assistance available at Country Crossings.

Resources:
·         For information on smoke and wildfires in Oregon, visit http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/   
·         For information on smoke and wildfires in California, 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   
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Air Quality Info at Your Fingertips: Apps to Download This Wildfire Season

Keeping up to date on the latest air quality conditions can be as easy as checking your smart phone. Here are two apps to download this wildfire season:

Search for OregonAir in your app store to download the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Air Quality Index. Users can pull up weather data – temperature, humidity, wind, solar radiation, air pressure – or view the list of pollutants DEQ monitors at a given station. Remember to select PM2.5 -- that's the type of particulate matter or small particles in wildfire smoke.

Search or scroll through monitoring stations, create favorite addresses, look at current air quality reports. You can even see what station has the worst air quality at a given time. Ugh. The app will also list any existing advisories.



EPA's Smoke Sense -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a study called Smoke Sense to determine how exposure to wildland fire smoke affects health and productivity and to develop health risk communication strategies that protect public health during smoke days. Want to participate? Download the Smoke Sense app from your smart phone's app store. The app will ask you for your zip code, age and other information like how much time you spend outdoors.
 
EPA says the study "will be the first of its kind known to use a mobile application to evaluate health effects from wildland fires experienced by those who participate, and to test whether such an app communicates health risks effectively."
EPA researchers hope the data will help them better communicate to the public to protect public health during wildfires.
 
If you haven't already, check out the resources in the tabs across the top of the page. You'll find guidance for parents and educators under the health tab, maps that show current fires under the fire information tab, satellite images of smoke and current data under the air quality tabs and more. We'll continue to update the information on these pages.

If you know a site or an app we should consider adding, let us know. 

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Thursday and Friday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction)


View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder

Smoke Outlook for Crater Lake Area for Thursday and Friday

View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CraterLakeArea 

Thursday and Friday Smoke Outlook for Rogue and Shasta Valleys/I-5 Corridor


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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Reminder: Rely on the Experts, Reputable Sites for Your Air Quality Data

We wanted to remind you when you’re checking air quality conditions to make sure you’re checking the map on this site, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Index* or EPA’s AirNow . Those sites all use data from DEQ air quality monitors or in the case of Lane County from the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. Please also bookmark the sites under the Air Quality Now and Air Quality Forecasting tabs above to ensure you are looking at credible sites.

Why are we providing this reminder? Because at least a few of you have noticed some pretty alarming graphics circulating and a website that shows hazardous or very unhealthy air quality levels across wide areas. The ones we saw put air quality levels in Medford far higher than they have been this season and we can see why they would give someone pause.

While we had some very unhealthy and even hazardous air quality readings this week in the Rogue Valley, those graphics didn’t include accurate air quality data from DEQ.

We’re not sure how widespread this inaccurate information has been circulated, but we know they have worried at least a few of our readers and a number of folks have reached out to DEQ. We wanted to make sure you knew that misleading information was out there.

Red flags to look for: the primary pollutant in wildfire smoke is particulate matter, not ozone. DEQ and EPA are .gov sites, while other sites tend to have .org or .com. (Please consider this multi-agency smoke blog, which is a .com, an exception.)

*DEQ’s Air Quality Index is also on your smart phone. Just search for OregonAir in your app store. The vendor is EnviTech so you will see their name too. A screenshot is below.
 
 

Smoke Outlook for Crater Lake Area for Wednesday and Thursday

View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/CraterLakeArea 

California-Oregon Border Fires Smoke Outlook for Wednesday and Thursday: Includes Provolt, Shady Cove, Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland


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

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Wednesday and Thursday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction)


View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Protecting Your Pets From Wildfire Smoke

Sometimes it's best to leave Rufus indoors.

Fido and Fluffy are susceptible to wildfire smoke too. Smoke, ash and dust from wildfires affects pets, birds, horses, livestock and wildfire, according to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association.
Its advice? For starters keep pets inside with the windows shut and avoid intense outdoor exercise.
They also recommend:
  • Pet birds need to remain indoors as much as possible during the highest level advisories.
  • Animals that have cardiovascular or respiratory disease are at increased risk during periods of poor air quality and should be watched closely.
  • Include animals in your care in planning for possible evacuation.
For more information on how to signs of smoke or dust irritation visit the association's webpage. The American Veterinary Association has some guidance on protecting livestock from wildfire smoke on its website.

California-Oregon Border Fires Smoke Outlook: Includes Provolt, Shady Cove, Grants Pass, Medford, Ashland


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

Smoke Outlook for Western Oregon-California Fires for Tuesday and Wednesday (Includes Grants Pass, Cave Junction)



View a version of this forecast with live links at: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/WesternOregon-CaliforniaBorder 

Monday, July 23, 2018

News Release: Deschutes County Health Services Issues Health Tips for Wildfire Smoke


Deschutes County, Oregon – Deschutes County Health Services advises residents to take health precautions during periods of smoke. Many factors influence a person’s sensitivity to smoke, including severity and duration of smoke exposure and a person’s health. There are things you can do to minimize the impacts of smoke on you and your family:

·         Reduce time spent outdoors when smoke is present.

·         Use an indoor high-efficiency air filter (HEPA) or electrostatic precipitator in your home to help create one or more rooms with cleaner air to breathe.

·         Set your A/C or heating unit to recycle or recirculate when at home or in your car.

·         Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.

·         Reduce other sources of indoor smoke and dust, including: burning cigarettes, candles, gas or propane ranges, wood burning stoves and furnaces, and vacuuming.

·         Reduce the time you engage in vigorous outdoor activity.

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

·         Consider maximizing time in air-conditioned homes or buildings during smoky periods or visit public, air-conditioned places such as libraries, community centers, senior centers, restaurants, and retailers for relief from smoke.

Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing health conditions and those who are particularly sensitive to air pollution. Contact your health care provider to develop a smoke plan. Sensitive groups include:

·         Persons with asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD

·         Persons with cardiovascular disease

·         Persons 65 years of age or older

·         Infants and children

·         Pregnant women

·         Smokers, especially those who have smoked for several years

For current information on air quality, visit https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map or use the 5-3-1 visibility index:

·         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 5-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.

For current information on fires and how to protect your health, visit: www.centraloregonfire.org.

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Media Contact: Morgan Feld, Preparedness Coordinator, 541-322-7466