Wildfires are unpredictable and can quickly send smoke into Oregon
communities. This page includes tools to help you track wildfire smoke in your
area, along with information about the health risks associated with elevated
Wildfire Response Protocol
In response to the 2012 wildfire season, DEQ participated in a task force to
review roles and duties of state and federal agencies in Oregon that respond to
wildfires. The task force was specifically concerned about the public health
risk from severe smoke impacts. It produced the Oregon Wildfire Response Protocol for Severe Smoke Episodes
presented here. The protocol describes the role of each agency during severe wildfire smoke
events, and how agencies can better work together to increase safety and protect
public health. The protocol lists resources to track wildfire activity and air
quality, reviews the current evidence regarding the health effects of wildfire
smoke and suggests possible interventions to protect the public based on the
intensity and expected duration of smoke exposure. The protocol is provided as a
guide for response to major wildfires. It is not intended to limit any action
taken by a public agency in the course of performing its official duties.
- Oregon Smoke Blog: Provides
additional information on current wildfires in Oregon, including links to
various agency websites. During periods of high wildfire activity, this blog can
be a source of information on wildfire status, air quality conditions, smoke
forecasts, school and activity closures, burn bans, location of clean air
shelters, and travel restrictions due to visibility.
- Northwest Interagency
Coordination Center's fire map: Information on fires across the Northwest.
Click on fire icons for detailed information about each fire.
- Tracking current wildfires: Department of Forestry's Wildfire
Blog with up-to-date information on wildfires in Oregon.
Health Authority: Wildfire Smoke and Your Health – Frequently Asked
- Current Wildland Fire Information
(National Interagency Fire Center): The National Interagency Fire Center,
located in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's support center for wildland
firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC.
Decisions are made using the interagency cooperation concept because NIFC has no
single director or manager.
Assessing smoke levels near you
- Hourly air quality data: DEQ measures air quality at monitors
across the state. People located near a monitor can use this information to
obtain the most recent information on smoke levels.
- Air Quality Index
Map: This page shows the location of DEQ air quality monitoring stations
- Air quality ratings: This chart describes the health risk
rating of different smoke levels. It includes information on how DEQ classifies
smoke levels for 24-hour, eight-hour and hourly exposure.
Wildfire smoke and your health
Smoke is made up of primarily small particles, gases and water vapor, with
trace amounts of hazardous air pollutants. The most harmful are the small
particles, or particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (100
micrometers is the diameter of a human hair). These particles can be inhaled
deeply into the lungs, damaging lung tissue and causing respiratory and
Wildfire can be a significant source of air pollution in Oregon and can pose
a major health risk. Symptoms from short-term smoke exposure can range from
scratchy throat, cough, irritated sinuses, headaches, runny nose and stinging
eyes. Persons with asthma, emphysema, congestive heart disease and other
existing medical conditions can have more serious reactions. The elderly and
children are also high-risk groups.
Wildfire smoke trends