July 23, 2024

Update: Air quality alert in effect until Sunday evening

A smoke-reddened sun glares over the Ashland Plaza in September 2023 when the AQI index was at about 180. photo by Bert Etling
September 22, 2023

Shifting winds expected to bring rain by Monday

Update, 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23: An air pollution advisory issued at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday for Jackson and Josephine counties will remain in effect until midnight Sunday, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality due to smoke from wildfires burning in the area. An advisory was previously issued Friday for Curry County.

DEQ also expects intermittent smoke for other areas of Southern Oregon, including central Douglas County, southern Coos, and Klamath counties.

As of Saturday evening, the chance of rain forecast by the NWS had not changed from Friday, but the amount of rain that might fall Monday was lowered to a quarter to half inch of rain, down from as much as three-quarters of an inch.

A U.S. Forest Service smoke spread model shows plumes of smoke reaching out from the Six Rivers Forest (SRF) Lightning Complex, lower left, and from the Anvil Fire near Port Orford, upper left, toward the Rogue Valley, right center, at about 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.
An air quality index chart for Saturday, Sept. 23, posted on shows readings over 100 most of the day.

Original story posted Friday:

By Bert Etling,

After a week of mostly clear skies, Ashland smoke levels spiked over the 100 level on the air quality index Friday evening, a condition expected to continue into Saturday morning before clearing most of the day.

Smoke from fires in Northern California may be driven back into the Rogue Valley on Saturday evening, according to a National Weather Service smoke forecast video.

“For the Rogue Valley, the smoke from area wildfires decided to have one last hurrah before the winds come and blow it away and the rains come this weekend,” according to a forecast analysis posted on the NWS website Friday evening.

Current Ashland AQI readings are available on the city of Ashland SmokeWise page (click here) and on the home page in the right-hand column above the weather box (click here).

An graph shows the air quality index (AQI) in Ashland on Friday (top chart) rising over 50 at 2 p.m. and over 100 at 9 p.m. The bottom graph shows the prior seven days, with the first three with top readings above 50 but under 100, and Monday through Thursday all under 50.

The weather forecast as of Friday put the chance of rain in Ashland at 20% during the day Sunday, then 40% Sunday night. 

Rain Monday is a near certainty — 90% — with total rainfall forecast to be in the range of a half to three-quarters of an inch.

Chance of rain diminishes significantly Tuesday, but remains a possibility through Friday.

High temperatures are expected to hit the 70s Saturday and Sunday, with lows in 50s, falling to highs in the mid-60s and lows in the upper 40s starting Monday and continuing through the week. 

Email Executive Editor Bert Etling at or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Sept. 23: Links added to current smoke conditions.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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