Air Quality

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Regional Smoke

Smoke from surrounding wildfires have engulfed the Medford area. According to the Air Quality Index, provided by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Medford is in the 'red' unhealthy zone for air quality. Jackson County public health officials have provided a Wildfire Smoke Guide advising residents to take the following precautions:
  • Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with the highest concentrations.
  • Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, and by closing windows and doors.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
  • People exposed to smoky conditions and who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.
  • Masks - If people must be outdoors, wearing a special mask called a "particulate respirator" can also help protect lungs from wildfire smoke. Dust masks that are not NIOSH-certified may not offer protection from small particulate matter, even if properly worn.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

The Air Quality Index is a color-coded tool that categorizes air quality daily. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. You can quickly assess statewide, or regional, air quality based on the color of the dots on a given map. 

How Does the AQI work?

Think of the AQI as a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. The legend below shows the spectrum of Air Quality Ratings.


Visit the state's DEQ website, here, for current up-to-date air quality data, hourly data, past data and EPA index range and health category scale.

Oregon Smoke Blog Information

This website is an effort by many city, county, tribal, state and federal agencies to coordinate and aggregate information for communities impacted by wildfire smoke. Click on the image of the map below to visit an interactive map and the Oregon Smoke Blog Information website.


The National Weather Service office in Medford, Oregon has been posting frequent fire weather updates on their Facebook page.






This is the last update

09-27-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Smoke will remain isolated to areas that still contain heat on various fires. Remaining smoke will flow down drainage at night, and then pool before daytime winds prevail and push the smoke out. Most communities will not see any smoke the next few days, but those that do will experience it worse in the morning hours.








This is the last update

09-27-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Expect overall ‘Good’ to 'Moderate' air quality today through tomorrow for the Umpqua and Rogue River Valleys. Models suggest light smoke intruding these Valleys this afternoon and overnight which may create hazy conditions. Communities east of the Cascades should not
be affected by this wildfire smoke.















09-26-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Smoke remains minimal as fire personnel continue to mop up and suppress any remaining heat. Agness continues to see moderate night time smoke drifting down the valley drainage. Other communities may also see similar conditions as the weather heats up, however any lingering smoke should lift up and out by mid-morning.











09-26-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Expect overall ‘Good’ air quality today through tomorrow for all reporting areas in the Umpqua and Rogue River Valleys and for the east side communities of Chemult, Chiloquin, and Klamath Falls.



09-25-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast



Smoke: Isolated interior areas of heat continue to pop up especially on the southwest side of the Chetco Bar wildfire. These areas are not posing a threat, however smoke produced from the burning material can travel towards communities. Smoke impacts continue to be mild to most of the area and may not be noticed until the evening hours when colder air tends to sink and pull smoke down with it.

As we move into a hotter and drier weather pattern more isolated small smoke pockets may once again be seen.




09-25-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Expect overall ‘Good’ air quality today through tomorrow for all reporting areas. A possibility of ‘Moderate’ air quality smoke impacts from Roseburg down to Grants Pass due to a small wildfire in Douglas County.






09-24-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Light smoke may be seen from burning material near the southwest side of the Chetco Bar wildfire. The burning material consist of large diameter logs and standing dead trees. These areas may continue smoking for multiple days, but should not produce amounts great enough to raise the smoke impacts into the moderate levels for long periods.














09-24-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Expect ‘Good’ air quality with no wildfire smoke impacts today through tomorrow for all areas in the reporting area which includes communities within the Rogue River and Umpqua River Valleys, as well as communities on the east side of the Cascades includingChemult, Chiloquin, and Klamath Falls.







09-23-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Smoke remains absent in most of the communities and surrounding areas, however isolated
areas on the fire continue to produce small amounts of smoke. As fuels dry out and conditions become more favorable for burning the chances of seeing more smoke in the environment is likely. Any smoke produced should be light and disperse well as it moves with the wind.








09-23-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast



Smoke: Expect ‘Good’ air quality with no wildfire smoke impacts today through tomorrow for all areas in the reporting area.










09-22-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Smoke production will increase in certain areas of the fire as warm and dry air moves into the region. It should take a couple more days for fuels to completely dry out and smoke to increase. Any visible smoke should disperse well as it moves away from the burning source. As
evening arrives smoke production may pool and flow down drainage's. Smoke may be noticed, however air quality should not exceed moderate levels overnight.






09-22-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Expect ‘Good’ air quality with no significant wildfire smoke today through tomorrow for the Rogue River Valley and areas east of the Cascades. Light smoke from the Willamette Valley wildfires will move S-SW but should not impact communities in the Umpqua River Valley.







09-21-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Smoke should remain minimal throughout the day. Pockets of light smoke may be seen within the fire area, but no impacts to communities are expected. Rain showers

should continue to clean out the air-shed before a drying trend comes back to the area starting Friday.



For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here



09-21-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Expect ‘Good’ air quality with minimal wildfire smoke today through tomorrow for the Rogue River Valley and areas east of the Cascades. Some smoke may settle into the Umpqua River Valley overnight from two new small wildfires in the Willamette Valley.


For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here



09-20-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast



Smoke: Light westerly winds and continued showers will limit smoke movement across SW Oregon. Communities near Chetco Bar, Miller and Indigo fires will likely experience good air quality conditions throughout the area today. Forecast showers will continue to limit smoke

production and movement.








09-20-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: West winds and intermittent rain showers will minimize wildfire smoke levels today and tomorrow leading to ‘Good’ air quality for all areas on both sides of the Cascades. Note that areas on the crown and to the east of the Cascades may see short-term adverse air quality impacts from wildfire smoke.





09-19-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: The low pressure system over the region will keep SW Oregon clear of smoke through at least Thursday. Westerly winds will carry wildfire smoke to the east during the duration of this cold front passage. Communities both west and east of the Cascades should continue to see ‘Good’ air quality as the prevailing winds will channel and loft smoke overhead. Note that communities on the crown and to the east of the Cascades may see intermittent, short-term air quality smoke impact from the wildfires.














09-19-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Light southwesterly winds and continued showers will limit smoke movement across SW Oregon. Communities near Chetco Bar, Miller and Indigo fires will likely experience good air quality conditions today. Showers throughout the day will continue to limit smoke production and movement.















09-18-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: The series of fronts moving through the area should keep the valley west of the Cascade fires clear of smoke through Thursday. Westerly winds will carry wildfire smoke to the east as each of these fronts pass through the area. Communities east of the Cascades should see improved air quality as well as the transport winds should carry most of the smoke overhead, though short-term smoke impacts may occur on an intermittent basis.

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here



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09-18-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Light westerly winds and continued showers willlimit smoke movement across SW Oregon. Coastalcommunities and Agness will experience good conditionstoday. Inland, Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford andother Rogue Valley communities will vary from moderateto USG throughout the day.








09-17-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

Smoke: Light winds will allow smoke to drain downhill, creating periods of Unhealthy air in Agness, while coastal communities will experience more moderate conditions today. Inland, Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities will remain in Unhealthy with periods of Very Unheallthy through the day due to limited air movement









09-17-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast



Smoke: Conditions will start out similar to Saturday where we will see pooling of smoke in the valleys/low lying areas in the early hours. Surface heating will increase mixing and air quality should improve with smoke clearing out midafternoon in advance of an approaching cold front. The series of fronts moving through the area should keep the valley areas clear of smoke for the remainder of the week.









09-16-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.




Smoke: Fires grew more than expected yesterday. One more day of fairly widespread smoke impacts with areas closest to fires at greatest risk. Views and air quality at North Cascades National Park are expected to be good today with smoke increasing late in the day and evening.




















09-16-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Winds from the north/northeast will again push smoke into Agness and and lesser amounts into coastal areas including Gold Beach, Brookings and northern California. Periods of Unhealthy air may affect Agness, while coastal communities will experience more moderate conditions. Inland, Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities will remain in USG/Unhealthy through much of the day due to limited air movement. Fires to the north may add additional smoke to SW Oregon's air today.






09-14-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke:The majority of smoke is emitted from the Indigo Fire at about 400 acres, just NE of Chetco Bar, which is burning in drier, more active brush fuels east of Agness. Chetco Bar smoke impacts are expected to be low to moderate to today with low fire behavior. Winds from the north/northeast will again push smoke into Agness and and lesser amounts into coastal areas including Gold Beach, Brookings and south into northern California. Periods of Unhealthy air may affect Agness this morning, clearing as inversions lift. Inland, the Miller Complex, Indigo and Q]filQ Bar fires' smoke will Moderately influence Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities this morning. This is expected to lessen through the day, as heating breaks inversions and northeast transport winds have more influence later in the day. 










09-15-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.

Smoke: Air quality is improving overall in the area as fire activity lessens somewhat thanks to cooler temperatures and high humidities but areas close to fires remain at risk of smoke. Views and air quality at North Cascades National Park are expected to be much better than yesterday with smoke increasing late in the day and evening.




09-14-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.

Smoke:  Air quality is improving overall in the area as fire activity lessens somewhat thanks to cooler temperatures and high humidities but areas close to fires remain at risk of smoke. Views at North Cascades National Park are expected to be hazy.
Fire Activity:  Umpqua N. complex grew 513 acres to 40,856 acres with 38% containment and is burning actively. High Cascades complex is reported as 23,511 acres smaller than yesterday due to a data correction and is at 74,868 acres with 28% containment. High Cascades reports moderate fire behavior. 


Notes: The air quality monitor at Crater Lake has been replaced and is reporting again. The monitor at Toketee is showing the first stages of an air pump problem so is expected to go offline soon.  Air Resource Advisor Contact: Janice Peterson jlpeterson@fs.fed.us






09-14-17 Southwest Oregon Smoke Forecast







09-13-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Chetco Bar smoke impacts are expected to be moderate to heavy today with moderating fir behavior. Winds from the north/northeast will again push smoke into Agness and and lesser amounts into coastal areas including Gold Beach, Brookings and south into northern California. Periods of Unhealthy air may affect coastal towns this morning, clearing as inversions lift late in the morning. Inland, in the Miller Complex and Chetco Bar fires' smoke will influence Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities with moderate

conditions this morning. This is expected to lessen through the day, as heating lifts the inversions.







09-12-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.



Smoke: Warm temperatures during the day today are expected to increase fire activity. Northwest winds in the afternoon will move smoke towards Crater Lake, Chiloquin, and Klamath Falls. The amount of smoke depends on how active the fires become. Fires in the east zone of the High Cascades Complex were quite active yesterday; especially Spruce Lake and Blanket Creek.




09-12-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Chetco Bar smoke impacts are expected to be moderate to heavy today with moderating fire behavior. Winds from the northeast will again push smoke toward coastal areas including Gold Beach, Brookings and further south into northern California. Highway 101 may see
reduced visibility in some areas. Periods of Unhealthy air may again be experienced in coastal towns by this afternoon /evening. Inland, in the Miller Complex and Chetco Bar fires' smoke will influence Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities with moderate conditions this morning. This is expected to worsen through the day, possibly reaching periods of unhealthy air. This is due to smoke from several regional fires impacting this zone.



09-11-17 Chetco Bar and Miller Complex Smoke Forecast

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.



Smoke: Smoke production is expected to increase today with moderate fire behavior. Winds from the north and northeast will push smoke toward coastal areas including Gold Beach, Brookings and further south into northern California. Highway 101 may see reduced visibility in some areas. Periods of Unhealthy air may be experienced in coastal towns by this afternoon /evening. Inland, in the Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Medford and other Rogue Valley communities, moderate conditions this morning are expected to worsen through the day, possibly reaching periods of unhealthy. This is due to smoke from several regional fires impacting this zone.




09-11-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast

For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.

Smoke: Warmer temperatures during the day today are expected to increase fire activity. North easterly winds will move smoke towards Prospect and Shady Cove. The amount of smoke will depend on how active the fires get. Tomorrow winds shift to westerly putting Crater Lake, Chiloquin, and Klamath Falls at greater risk and improving air quality for Prospect and Shady Cove.



09-10-17 Miller Complex Smoke Forecast



09-10-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.


Smoke: Cooler weather and higher humidities over the fires has reduced smoke considerably. Fires are not as hot so smoke is drifting and settling close to the ground rather than rising in large plumes. Areas close to the fires are likely to continue to experience smoke impacts at times throughout the day as smoke moves around.


09-09-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Cooler weather and higher humidities over the fires has reduced smoke considerably although warming temperatures during the day today will increase fire activity and smoke. Areas close to the fires are likely to continue to experience smoke impacts at times throughout the day as smoke sloshes around.


09-09-17 Chetco Bar Smoke Forecast


Smoke: Smoke impacts today will vary from light to heavy in communities surrounding the Chetco Bar fire. Light Northerly winds will drift smoke generally South and down drainages into communities such as Brookings-Harbor. A rise in smoke this morning is likely in these coastal communities South of the fire before clearing later in the afternoon. Inland communities, including Cave Junction, will see a slow rise in smoke impacts through the day that may reach Unhealthy at times by the afternoon/evening. Areas North and West of the fire, such as Gold Beach and Agness,
are expected to see Good/Moderate conditions and possible haze overhead. With warmer and drier developing this weekend, smoke impacts are likely to slowly increase with a forecast increase in fire activity.




9-08-17 High Cascades Complex Smoke Forecast


For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.

Smoke: Cooling weather and rain in some areas over the fires has reduced smoke considerably although areas near the fires are likely to continue to experience heavy smoke at times throughout the day. Air quality is expected to remain improved through tomorrow but warming and drying expected on Sunday could increase fire activity and smoke again.








09-08-17 Chetco Bar Fire Smoke Outlook


For a downloadable, emailable PDF of this update, click here.

Smoke
Smoke impacts improved dramatically in all communities surrounding the Chetco Bar fire overnight.
Rainfall and wind have helped to clear the air, however, lingering smoke remains in many areas. Inland communities such as Cave Junction, Grants Pass and the Rogue River Valley cleared out overnight but conditions are expected to degrade, possibly reaching the Unhealthy range later today. Coastal areas South of the fire, such as Brookings, that were mostly free of smoke overnight, are seeing smoke drain down valley and fill back in this morning. These areas may see periods of Unhealthy conditions with overall impact in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. With warmer and drier weather tomorrow, smoke impacts are likely to increase with a forecast increase in fire activity.






Oregon Wildfire Response Protocol for Severe Smoke Episodes


This protocol is intended to provide guidance for state and federal agencies in Oregon who respond to sever smoke episodes caused by large or long duration wildfires, to ensure a coordinated response, in order to mitigate impacts on public health.

The guidelines are focused specifically on smoke/air quality impacts, as compared to the safety risk posed by the fire itself, which is the highest priority when it comes to protecting the public from wildfire.

To view the protocol in its entirety, please click here.





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