The fires have repeatedly put the Rogue Valley's air quality into the "unhealthy" category over the past week. Cities from Grants Pass to Shady Cove and Ashland registered unhealthy air in a 24-hour period ending at noon Tuesday. By 5 p.m., all but Grants Pass had improved but still remained in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" category.
With the valley ringed by fires burning in every direction on the compass, the air in seven Southern Oregon locations registered "unhealthy."
Shady Cove, which is affected by fires burning to the north and east, had the worst air over the 24-hour period ending at noon today, with an Air Quality Index reading of 178 for the 24 hours and 161 between 11 a.m. and noon.
AQI readings of 151 to 200 are considered unhealthy; 101 to 150 are unhealthy for sensitive groups. According to the Department of Environmental Quality, when air quality hits the "unhealthy" level, "Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects."
Other readings in Southern Oregon were (24 hours/single hour):
Ashland — 159/116
Medford — 168/137
Provolt — 154/131
Grants Pass — 174/110
Shady Cove — 178/161
Klamath Falls — 171/127
Roseburg — 158/95