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 left column, under State Links
and click on Air Quality Index (AQI) which will bring up a map with many additional state monitors.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Due to end of the 2013 wildfire season, the Oregon Smoke Blog has been deactivated.  It will be reactivated in 2014, should there be a reoccurrence of major wildfires in the state.  For information on current air quality conditions in Oregon, see the Department of Environmental Quality air monitoring network map at www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Smoke Monitors Removed

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Last week, the two remaining, temporary smoke monitors in southwestern Oregon were removed from service.  The Ashland smoke monitor was removed on Wednesday September 11th at approximately 3 pm, and the Chiloquin monitor was removed on Thursday morning, September 12, at approximately 8 am.   As large wildfires with severe smoke issues in Oregon have greatly diminished, this website is not being updated as frequently.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Upcoming Free Webinar on Public Perceptions of Smoke in Oregon & California

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
NW Fire Science Consortium 2013 Webinar Series
Presenters:  Dr. Christine Olsen, Oregon State University and Dr. Eric Toman, Ohio State University.
Drs. Toman and Olsen will describe ongoing research in Oregon and California on public perceptions of wildland and prescribed fire smoke. They will focus on identifying factors that influence perceptions of smoke, and how communication in various forms may influence those perceptions. 
No advanced registration necessary.  Please log in as "guest" 10 to 15 minutes prior to the start of the webinar.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Government Flats Smoke Caught on WebCam

The smoke from the Government Flats Complex was caught on the US Forest Service web camera located at the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.  You can view a 24-hour time lapse image of the smoke by clicking on this link  http://www.fsvisimages.com/timelapse.aspx?site=CORI1 and then selecting the date of 8/21/13, then click on the arrow to play the video.

Daily afternoon Wildfire Smoke Forecasts ending - will return "as needed"

The afternoon weather and wildfire smoke forecast posted on this blog each day by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry has been ended due to the current reduction in active wildfires and improvement in air quality over most of the state. This feature will be provided on an "as-needed" basis if there are new major wildfires developing again later this summer.

Friday, August 23, 2013

1:30 PM PDT FRI AUG 23, 2013


Douglas Complex Fires – Seven miles northwest of Glendale in Douglas and Josephine Counties.

Big Windy Complex – 25 miles NW of Grants Pass; 8 miles NW of Galice.

Whiskey Complex – 6 miles east of Tiller in the Umpqua National Forest.

Government Flats Complex – 10 miles SW of The Dalles.

For updated “Significant Fire” details, visit ODF’s fire blog at http://wildfireoregondeptofforestry.blogspot.com/ or the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center (NWCC) at http://www.nwccweb.us/index.aspx.

A “Significant Fire Potential” map, for ODF protected lands, is available at (http://nfdrs.smkmgt.com/ODF_Significant_Fire_Potential.png). 


Measurement locations over the entire state of Oregon (38 total locations today) show good air quality today.  Improvement in the past 24-48 hours has been significant over the southwestern OR locations downwind of the Douglas/Whiskey and Big Windy Complexes, as well as The Dalles area as a wind direction shift to westerly/NWly has occurred there. The exit of an upper-level wave to the northeast over the last 12-18 hours has helped lead to the air quality improvement and a reduction in elevated smoke over much of the state.

Statewide air quality index readings are available at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx


Wildfire smoke dispersion depends on the stability of the atmosphere as well as wind direction and speed.  A stable atmosphere holds smoke to the ground and an unstable atmosphere allows smoke to rise and dissipate.  Smoke is typically mixed to higher altitudes during the afternoon, when daytime heating destabilizes the air mass.  Conversely, smoke tends to settle near the ground and in drainages during the overnight and early morning hours.


Clearing and improvement in air quality has been the trend over the last 12-18 hours over much of the state, and any major reversal of this trend is unlikely over the next several days barring additional major ignitions. Residual low clouds remain only over portions of western OR. Transport winds have switched to mostly southwesterly for much of the state. Smoke production for the Government Flats Complex likely remains significant but is now moving generally to the east/SE into areas of no air quality measurements; it is likely air quality is still being impacted negatively immediately east and southeast of this complex.
Saturday and Sunday:

Upper southwesterly flow will dominate the picture through the weekend ahead of a deep eastern Pacific trough, with transport winds generally having a significant westerly component. This will lead to a continuation of local air quality impacts immediately NE-E-SE of active fire zones, especially the Government Flats Complex. Otherwise, good air quality conditions are expected to continue. The flow aloft will contain enough moisture that late-day shower/thunderstorm activity is likely to be generated over many higher terrain areas of the state both days, especially the Cascade Range. Additional lightning ignitions are possible in these areas although many of the strikes are likely to be accompanied by rain, and we are generally seeing better low-level moisture conditions currently than we’ve seen in quite some time. In fact a return to Red Flag conditions is unlikely for any areas of the state as a general cooling trend at the surface is in place.


The deep eastern Pacific trough will persist at least through next Tuesday August 27, with some ejecting waves generating late-day shower/thunderstorm activity over western and central OR, especially over higher terrain. While some recovery in afternoon temperatures is expected over eastern portions of the state, a return to hot/dry conditions is not likely. We do not anticipate air quality impacts from smoke unless there are major new ignitions or if the Government Flats Complex continues to generate significant smoke. In the latter case the impacts would likely be confined to the east of the fires and local areas of poor ventilation close to the fires.

Current weather forecasts from the Portland, Medford, and Pendleton National Weather Service offices are available at:  http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/, http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mfr/, and http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pdt/ respectively.

This bulletin is also available on the web at

ODF Smoke Management Meteorologist