Wildfire & Air Quality

Wildfire in our forest can affect our air quality due to smoke. It’s important to have up-to-date air quality information and how to read what you are seeing. This page will help you understand what to look for and where to look.

The Air Quality Index 

To start, it is important to know how to read the Air Quality Index (AQI) to know if the level of air pollution in unhealthy or unsafe. This index is used by the local news to online graphs to describe if it is safe to go outside, to exercise, and if those with unhealthy lungs should take extra precautions.
Air Quality Index Levels of Health Concern
Numerical Value
Air quality considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.
Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Very Unhealthy
Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.
Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

Useful Tools To Stay Updated

Now you can use the below tools (we recommend bookmarking them on your phone and computer) to follow the air quality during a wildfire (and during prescribed fires)

Current Smoke Conditions in Oregon

Oregon’s Air Quality & Fire Map

Current Air Quality for Bend

Click below to check your air quality

Oregon Smoke Information

Blog for advisories and smoke forecasts

For those who want to dig deeper, more links on current air data:

Curious how wildfire smoke affects your health?

Smoke levels can rise and fall quickly so it is important to plan ahead and be prepared.

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(c) 2023 Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project