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Showing posts from August, 2016

Gap Fire affecting air quality in Southwest Oregon

Visibility at Crater Lake National Park is impacted by smoke from the Gap Fire burning on the Klamath National Forest in California. The Gap Fire, about 90 minutes south of Ashland on the Klamath National Forest in California will continue to impact air quality in Southwest Oregon, including the Rogue Valley. As of noon, smoke impacts were greatest near the Oregon/California border with reduced visibility along Interstate 5. Smoke is also reducing visibility in Crater Lake National Park about 100 miles to the northeast of the Gap Fire.  The 24-hour air quality particulate matter  2.5 monitors in Ashland and Medford currently show good, or green conditions. However, forecasts call for light smoke to move over the Ashland area by mid-afternoon, potentially leading to moderate air quality. During the overnight hours, air quality should remain good in Medford, though farther south into Ashland, pockets of reduced visibility and moderate air quality may continue. The worst ov

Health officials, DEQ urge Jackson County residents to watch for unhealthy smoke levels

Health and Human Services Public Health Division 140 S. Holly St. Medford, OR 97501 Phone: (541) 774-8209 Fax: (541) 774-7977 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACTS: Jim Shames, Health Officer, 541-951-8838, Katherine Benenati, DEQ, 541-686-7997 DATE OF RELEASE: August 30, 2016/noon Watch for Unhealthy Smoke Levels [Medford, OR] - Jackson County public health officials and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are offering information about steps residents can take to avoid illness from wildfire smoke inhalation. It is important for people to be observant of the air quality during the wildfire season, smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children, are advised to stay indoors. Poor air quality conditions are a health threat and should be avoided by all residents in smoky communities. Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors,

Aug. 30 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: Cloud cover today will bring slightly cooler temperatures and higher humidity.  Temperatures will be in the 70s, minimum relative humidity will be 12-17%.  Winds will be South-Southwest 8-15 mph, gusting to 25 mph on ridges.  The inversion in Unity will lift around 1100AM.  Wednesday will continue the trend of cooling temperatures, improving humidity, and increased stability.  Fire Activity: The fire is 65% contained at approximately 39,600 acres.  Fire activity Monday was primarily consumption of unburned interior fuels in the Monument Rock Wilderness.  Work to secure containment lines and mop-up continues around the wilderness perimeter.  A couple of small spot fires occurred and were contained.    Smoke Summary :  Monday, smoke production increased somewhat from Sunday and moved over Unity to the Northeast.  As a result, smoke conditions were Good in all communities except Unity and Baker City .  Tuesday, expect similar smoke

Wildfire smoke, ash affecting Rogue Valley

The Gap Fire burning in Klamath National Forest in California is impacting air quality in the Rogue Valley. The fire is in Seiad Valley about 90 minutes southwest of Ashland. The 24-hour air quality monitors for particulate matter 2.5 are currently yellow or moderate in Ashland, meaning sensitive groups such as children and older adults should consider reducing prolonged outdoor activity. All other air quality monitors in the area are currently green or good. Conditions may change throughout the day. Check the latest air quality readings and sign up for alerts in your area . For the latest information on wildfires visit InciWeb . Also check out EPA's Air Quality for Particle Pollution to better understand forecasts.

Aug. 29 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for today from 2:00PM to 9:00PM due to very low relative humidity, strong gusty winds, and very unstable atmospheric conditions.  Temperatures will be in the high 70s to high 80s, minimum relative humidity will be 8-15%.  Winds will be South-Southwest 10-15 mph, gusting to 30 mph on ridges.  Tuesday will bring a 25% chance of thunderstorms and a gradual cooling trend for the week. Fire Activity: The fire is 60% contained at approximately 39,000 acres.  Fire activity Sunday was primarily blacklining in support of containment lines along the south and east perimeters adjacent to the Monument Rock Wilderness.  Smoke Summary :  Sunday, smoke production from the fire was significantly reduced from Saturday. As a result, smoke conditions were Good in all communities in the impact area.  Monday, will be different, with Moderate conditions impacting Unity and Baker City .  Overnight Easterly winds will

Aug. 28 Air Quality Report for Rail Fire -- Weather and Smoke Synopsis

Weather: Today’s weather will be much like yesterday’s but with Southwest winds.  Warm and dry conditions continue: temperatures will be in the mid-70 to mid-80s, minimum relative humidity will be 13-19%.  Winds will be 5-10 mph, gusting to 20 mph on ridges, shifting from Southwest to Northwest around 5:00PM.  Overnight winds will shift from Northwest to Northeast to Southeast.  Monday will see Southwest winds and an increase in mid and high clouds.  Fire Activity: The fire is 58% contained at 34,369 acres.  Fire activity Saturday was a combination of consumption of unburned fuels within the Monument Rock Wilderness and successful blacklining operations on its east and west perimeters.      Smoke Summary :  Saturday, fire activity lifted smoke to westerly transport winds, which carried the smoke high above and beyond Vale . Smoke conditions were Good in all communities in the impact area.  Sunday, most smoke impacts will be local to and east