Oregon Smoke Information

Map Notes:

The map above shows active fires and air quality monitors around the state. Round icons represent permanent air quality monitors, triangular icons represent temporary smoke monitors (when deployed).

Friday, May 31, 2019

ODF News Release: Fire Season and Regulated Use go into effect June 1

Fire Season on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Southwest Oregon District begins Saturday, June 1, at 12:01 a.m. The fire danger level will be “Low” (green) and the Industrial Fire Precaution Level (IFPL) will be 1 (one). Lands affected by this declaration include state, private, county, city and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in Jackson and Josephine counties.

The recent weather patterns are changing from frequent rain to more sun exposure, and thunderstorm potentials have been predicted this week. Due to the weather outlook and current conditions, Fire Season is being declared.

Beginning Saturday, the burning of debris piles and the use of burn barrels for burning debris will no longer be allowed in Jackson and Josephine counties. Over the past couple of weeks, our crews have responded to multiple debris burns that have escaped; landowners are encouraged to check their previously burned piles from this spring and confirm that they have been extinguished.  
Other Fire Season restrictions include prohibiting the use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition. 

This year, when we enter Low Fire Danger on Saturday, additional public use restrictions will take effect that prohibit the use of fireworks on or within a 1/8 of a mile of forestlands or the use of non-approved electric fence controller. Other activities such as the mowing of dry grass or the use of motorized power equipment will be regulated using the Fire Danger level as defined in the Regulated Use Proclamation, and allowed anytime while the District is in Low Fire Danger level.    

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Fire Season regulations, please call or visit the Southwest Oregon District unit office nearest to you:

·         Medford Unit, 5286 Table Rock Rd., Central Point. (541) 664-3328
·         Grants Pass Unit, 5375 Monument Dr., Grants Pass. (541) 474-3152
Fire season information is also available online at our Facebook page: @ODFSouthwest and our website: www.swofire.com.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

News Release: Be ready for smoke as Oregon’s wildfire season looms, officials urge

Brookings during the Chetco Bar fire in 2017, Photo by Shawn Weagle, National Weather Service

With wildfire season just around the corner, it’s time for people in Oregon to make sure their homes are ready to resist smoke, they know how to track air quality conditions and they understand how to safeguard their health during severe smoke.

To mark Wildfire Awareness Month, the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are offering ways to prepare for wildfire smoke.

A good first step: Become familiar with DEQ’s Air Quality Index.

The color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions. The index also includes specific health-based recommendations. It ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include those who have heart and lung conditions, such as asthma, children, pregnant women and the elderly. Red is unhealthy, meaning everyone may begin to experience health effects and should limit their time outdoors. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

You can check the current local air quality conditions on DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map or download the OregonAIR app on your smart phone. You can sign up to receive air pollution advisories at https://www.oregon.gov/deq/Get-Involved/Pages/default.aspx.

Smoke can worsen some medical conditions and irritate people’s eyes and lungs.
OHA urges people to prepare for severe smoke events with these steps:
  • Consider developing or updating your breathing plan if you have asthma, or other lung and heart conditions. Consult your health care provider.
  • Make sure windows and doors seal well.
  • Check the filters in your heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems. Change filters as needed. If you don’t have a HEPA filter, and your system will support it, consider upgrading to a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high efficiency precipitator air filters. Choose the highest rating your system will allow.
  • Purchase a portable HEPA or non-ozone producing electrostatic precipitating air cleaner.
  • Check for cleaner air spaces in your area on the Oregon Smoke Blog, http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
  • Learn what to do when the smoke fills the air, https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/le8622.pdf

During May, which is Wildfire Awareness Month, federal, state and local emergency and response agencies encourage the public to work together to prevent the risk of wildfire and prepare for wildfire smoke.

Media contacts:

Jonathan Modie, Oregon Health Authority, 971-246-9139 PHD.Communications@state.or.us
Katherine Benenati, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 541-686-7997 benenati.katherine@deq.state.or.us