Smokewise Ashland’s new website at smokewiseashland.org
is a unique resource for all information related to smoke, health, and economic well-being. Though we hope this summer will have fewer smoky days than recent summers, we cannot ignore the reality of a changing climate and historic accumulations of fuels in our forests. Collectively, we accept that even if it’s controlled burn smoke we make to protect our community and reduce dense summer smoke, the better we’re prepared, the more resilient we’ll be in our personal health and economic vitality.
Smokewise Ashland is a collaborative effort that’s been put together over the last two years by the City of Ashland, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, Asante Ashland Community Hospital, Jackson County Health and Human Services, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Southern Oregon University. Funding has been provided through the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project. In winter of 2017, a Smoke Preparedness Workshop and Workbook was created to educate businesses to provide them with the necessary tools to improve their indoor air as well as how to access information to mitigate the impacts of wildfire smoke.
The new Smokewise Ashland website displays the Ashland Air Quality Index (AQI) at the top of the homepage so residents and visitors can immediately find the most recent air quality and quickly and easily associate the number with protective actions, or just to be reassured that air quality is good, which is the case for most of the year in beautiful Ashland. We’ve gathered the best available information about health, air filtering, and the regional wildfire status in easy to click menus so you don’t have to go searching for it. A regional resiliency meeting was held earlier this year to share information and brainstorm solutions with business, government and educational leaders resulting in a report and suggestions for improvements.
The City of Ashland Wildfire Safety Commission and Ashland Fire & Rescue are promoting June as the month to become Smokewise. Whether for wildfire or smoke, getting prepared early makes it less stressful later. See our resources at ashland.or.us/wildfireprep