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DEQ extends smoke-related air quality advisory for much of C. Oregon until at least Saturday

A red or orange sun has been a frequent sight across the High Desert recently, as in this sunset view in Bend on Wednesday evening
Johnny Oliver
A red or orange sun has been a frequent sight across the High Desert recently, as in this sunset view in Bend on Wednesday evening

Other areas of state under advisory until at least Monday afternoon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued an air quality advisory Thursday for Central, Eastern and Southern Oregon, plus parts of Oregon Cascades due to smoke from fires in Oregon and Northern California.

The following areas are under advisory:

·                 Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties until at least Monday afternoon.

·                 Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties until at least Saturday morning.

·                 Eastern portions of Douglas, Lane, Linn and Marion counties depending on nearby fire activity until at least Monday afternoon.

Daily smoke forecasts for Southern OregonKlamath Falls and Lane and Deschutes counties are available from the US Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program. These forecasts provide estimates of what times of day smoke might be better or worse in those areas.

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Thunderstorms are in recent forecasts, which may bring lightning or rain and either add to or lessen fire activity. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant women.

Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:

  • Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions.
  • Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
  • If you have heart or lung disease or asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice.

Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly fitted and worn. They won’t work for everyone, especially children. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their doctor before wearing a respirator. Get more information about protecting your health during wildfires.

To find a cleaner air space in your area: Visit 211info.org, click “Find Resources” and search in the Community Resource Database for “Wildfire Related Clean Air Shelters.” Or call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

KTVZ news sources

Comments

5 Comments

  1. I have a real hard time believing these warnings. I mean it rained most of last night; poured for awhile Downtown. Why does that not clear the particulate matter out of the air?

    1. Of course it does. But unless it hits the fires well, too… smoke may well return in coming days. DEQ advisories don’t always take weather developments into account, and they are issued for an extended period of days.

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