While the southern Willamette Valley has only seen moderate effects from wildfires this season, stretches from northern and southern Oregon continue to endure unhealthy air quality.
To keep Oregonians alert to air conditions the Department of Environmental Quality added a companion mobile app to its "Air-Now" online index called “OregonAIR.” The index cataloguse air conditions on a color-coded scale from green to a dark magenta.
Laura Gleim says changes in technology allow them to reach more Oregonians with up to date information.
"DEQ has had the air quality index for over ten yearsand the last time it was updated was over five years ago. So with technology changes and an increase in usage we just really saw the need to launch a new system."
DEQ did an online overhaul after last year’s fire season overloaded the website’s traffic, causing it to frequently crash. The index draws on data from 37 stations throughout the state of Oregon.