Friday, July 22, 2016

Wildfire smoke affecting Gilliam County

Smoke from the Scott Canyon wildfire in Eastern Oregon may be affecting parts of Gilliam County. The air quality rating for the past 24 hours is currently moderate or yellow at the John Day Dayton and the La Grande Ash Street monitoring stations. Some surrounding areas are registering green or good on the Air Quality Index. To keep an eye on air quality conditions in the area visit: or subscribe to Enviroflash Air Quality Alerts to receive air quality information for where you live.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Public Version of Real-Time Assessment and Planning Tool for Oregon Goes Live

News Release from Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Salem, Ore. -- June 29, 2016 -- The Real Time Assessment and Planning Tool for Oregon (RAPTOR) is now available for the public to view incident data about wildfires, areas impacted by flooding, live weather radar, contact information for county emergency managers and more. 

"This application enables users to view and interact with critical maps, aerial imagery, hazards, weather and event related data via the internet anywhere anytime," says Daniel Stoelb, Geographic Information Systems program coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. "These maps offer information about what is happening geographically within our area."

RAPTOR is a web mapping application that allows users to spatially display interrelated and aggregated information from various systems in a geospatial platform. Specific elements of information include weather watches and warnings, local storm reports, live weather radar, road closures/delays, and active incidents. The public can access the application at

RAPTOR supports Oregon's emergency operations plan by sharing information before, during, and after an incident such as a flood or wildfire. It allows OEM to develop, implement and share information with local and state partners, and enhances Oregon's overall disaster readiness.

For more information about RAPTOR, contact Daniel Stoelb, GIS program coordinator at the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, at

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wildfire Smoke Inhalation Prevention -- A Message from The North Central Public Health District

Caring For Our Communities

In the midst of wildfire season, North Central Public Health District would like to remind residents to take precautions to avoid illness due to wildfire smoke inhalation.
Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Poor air quality conditions are a health threat and all residents should limit their exposure to smoke. Those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children, are advised to stay indoors when the air-quality is poor.
Please visit the DEQ Air Quality Index found at the link below. The DEQ site is updated hourly and is color-coded for easy to read information. Unfortunately, the only permanent monitor for our region is in The Dalles, with Gov. Camp, Madras and Hermiston being the next closest monitors. A link is also provided below with information on the 5-3-1 Visibility Index if there is not a monitor near you.
Please take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
1. Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area. See the links below for DEQ’s Air Quality Index and Oregon Smoke blog.

2. Avoid outdoor exertion during such conditions. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity including sports practice, work and recreation.

3. 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.

4. Try to avoid driving in smoky areas. If you do need to drive in these areas, keep your windows rolled up and vents closed. If you need air conditioning, make sure you set your system on “re-circulate” to avoid bringing smoke into your car.

5. Avoid smoke by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors and use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter.

6. People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems, should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.

Please see the attached Wildfire Smoke & Your Health FAQ and visit the helpful links below for additional information:
DEQ’s Air Quality Index for current air quality conditions
DEQ’s 5-3-1 Visibility Index for estimating smoke levels via visual observation
Oregon Smoke blog for the latest on fires and air quality across the state
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet about the health threats from wildfire smoke
(For more information, please contact North Central Public Health District at (541) 506-2600 or visit us on the web at The district serves Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties.