Health & Education

Grand Ronde air quality improves to 'unhealthy'

09.18.2020 Dean Rhodes Health & Wellness
Rain drops accumulate on the windshield of a car parked outside of the Governance Center on Friday, Sept. 18. Overnight rain helped improve air quality in the Grand Ronde community. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals)

The Grand Ronde area's air quality improved to "unhealthy" for the first time since Sept. 8 on Friday, Sept. 18, according to

Rain that swept through western Oregon overnight on Thursday, Sept. 17, helped improve the area's air quality, which registered a 167 on the air pollution scale, a vast improvement on the previous day's "hazardous" rating. Smoke from numerous western Oregon wildfires contributed to the Grand Ronde area's string of bad air days and the closure of the Tribal governmental offices for six work days following the Labor Day weekend.

Althought a drastic improvement, an "unhealthy" rating still means that people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers should avoid strenuous outdoor activities, keep outdoor activities brief and consider moving physical activities inside. Everyone else should choose less strenuous activities so you don't breathe has hard, shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors and be active outdoors when the air quality improves.

To track Grand Ronde's air quality, visit