Where is the smoke coming from? Where are the fires? Tracking Oregon wildfire season

Oregon at 10 a.m. on Monday, August 20, as seen - or, more accurately, not seen - from the NASA Terra satellite.

EUGENE, Ore. - Forest fires burning across the Pacific Northwest have contributed to the pollution choking major cities and rural communities alike.

The pollution in wildfire smoke is known as PM 2.5, short for "particulate matter" less than 2.5 micrometers in size.

"The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems," according to EPA. "Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream."

Perhaps one of the most robust tools for determining exactly where wildfire smoke is going is a collaborative, interactive map developed by the U.S. Forest Service PNW Research Station's Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Laboratory.

If you click on the tiles tab in the upper right hand corner and select "HMS Smoke Plumes", the map shows where the smoke is believed to be drifting.

The EPA Air Now website provides both a snapshot of current air quality, as well as an air quality forecast.


You can drill even farther down into the data on the Oregon DEQ Air Quality Index page.

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency provides specific information for Eugene/Springfield, Oakridge and Cottage Grove.

In terms of determining where the fires are burning; fire-related weather forecast; and any evacuations or related closures - the Oregon Office of Emergency Management's RAPTOR map offers one-stop information shopping.



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