Ashland, Oregon Information in Emergency Events

More lightning expected, residents asked to report nearby fires

The City of Ashland today issued information about lightning-caused fires, and this request:

We urge residents to only call in smoke or fires in their immediate area and especially any close to structures, so as not to overwhelm 911 dispatchers with distant fires that are already being staffed. — Ashland Fire & Rescue

In particular, a fire on Wagner Peak is widely visible. Continued near-100 highs mean likely more small fires, and aircraft are being used to watch for new ones.

More information

Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 31 Jul 2014

Thunderstorm over Ashland leads to reports of smoke

As a noisy thunderstorm passed over Ashland for about an hour, KDRV has reported “two lighting-started fires are being investigated.” One smoke investigation by AF&R was dispatched by ECSO 911, but there is no confirmation or additional report of actual fires.

Additionally, one lightning strike (without fire) was reported south of Ashland. Clearly there have been several strikes in our immediate area.

We suggest you keep an eye out for lightning-caused fires, and if you see one, or see smoke from such a fire, call 911.

Lightning strike near Ashland

Lightning strike near Ashland posted by Geoffrey Riley on Facebook

Posted by Paul Collins on Wed, 30 Jul 2014

2014 fire season is off to hot start—be prepared

As high temperatures continue to run around 100 degrees in Ashland, vigilance is the order of the day. Recent lightning strikes have not lead to significant fires in the region, but we have a long hot summer to go. It’s important to create defensible, fuel-free space around your home if you live in the Wildland Urban Interface. If you are wondering if you are in the WUI, wonder no more: for all intents and purposes, living anywhere in Ashland is living in the WUI. Follow the link to get prepared.

Posted by Paul Collins on Tue, 15 Jul 2014

Smoke monitor now in Ashland

A temporary air quality monitor has been set up in downtown Ashland. This provides a reading of how much smoke (small particulates) is in the air on an hourly basis. The nearest permanent monitor is in Medford.

To view the monitor readings, go to the Interagency Real Time Smoke Monitoring page and click the link for USFS1049 (currently labeled “Oregon”). The page gives two readings: The current “1 HR” reading, and the 24 hour reading, which estimates the cumulative quality over that period. Hourly readings may vary greatly over the period of a day. The 24 hour reading is shown just below the colored “Good” to “Hazardous” scale.

Pro tip: If the line chart (large area to the right of Current Observations) does not appear, that’s probably because your browser’s Java plug-in is not installed or is disabled. This is actually a good thing: Java plug-ins are not widely used (for most people) and enabling them increases the risk of malware successfully attacking your computer. You can still get the current readings without seeing the line chart.

Thanks to Oregon Smoke Information for information about the monitoring website.

Posted by Paul Collins on Wed, 7 Aug 2013

Persistent wildfire smoke in Southern Oregon

Comparison views from Tolman Creek Road

[Update August 3 10:45 AM:] Most of the smoke cleared over Thursday night and Ashland has enjoyed Moderate air quality since then. Even Grants Pass air has improved. Currently we have 4-mile visibility, which is not as good as Friday.

A contact at NOAA Medford says that until the wildfires are out, the intense smoke conditions could return at any time. It depends on the air flow coming from the northwest.

Smoke from Josephine county wildfires has caused high particulate levels throughout Southern Oregon all week. The nearest Oregon DEQ sensor, in Medford, has returned readings in the Unhealthy to Hazardous range, and remains at the Very Unhealthy rating as of 7:00 PM August 1. All residents should observe public health advisories from the DEQ and other authorities.

DEQ Air Quality Index Map

Oregon Smoke Information

Continue Reading…

Posted by Paul Collins on Thu, 1 Aug 2013