ashland.news
June 13, 2024

Air quality alert extended to Tuesday afternoon

Smoke in the air makes the setting sun appear red enough to be a third stoplight at the intersection of Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street at about 7 p.m. Sunday when the AQI reading at the Ashland Fire Department was about 171, according to the EPA. Ashland.news photo by Bert Etling
August 28, 2023

Conditions should improve both Monday and Tuesday afternoons

Ashland.news staff report

An air quality alert for much of Southern Oregon, including Ashland, was extended yet again by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on Sunday afternoon. Wildfires burning in the region will continue to cause air quality levels to fluctuate into, at times, unhealthy levels.

While the DEQ cautions that the alert may be further extended beyond 5 p.m. Tuesday, it sounds an optimistic note in that wind patterns are expected to change Monday night, and the area of the alert may change.

Ashland air quality went from bad to worse Sunday, staying in the “unhealthy” range (151-200) most of the day before worsening into the “very unhealthy range” (201-300) later in the evening, peaking at 295 at 10 p.m. Graphic from aqi.oregon.gov

A smoke forecast video posted by the Medford office of the National Weather Service shows smoke conditions in Ashland improving Monday afternoon with even more significant improvement Tuesday as prevailing winds blow smoke from the Smith River Complex and other fires more to the southeast, away from Ashland.

Firefighters gather on Highway 199 near Gasquet on Thursday to fight the Smith River Complex Fire. InciWeb photo

As of Sunday, the Smith River Complex Fire had burned 68,094 acres, mostly on the north side of Highway 199 between Grants Pass and Crescent City, which remains closed. The fire has crossed from its lightning-caused ignition location in California into Oregon southwest of Cave Junction.

Email Ashland.news at news@ashland.news.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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