PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency and Southwest Clean Air Agency issued an air quality advisory for the Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge through The Dalles, Central Oregon and southwest Washington due to stagnant air conditions trapping wood stove smoke near the ground where people breathe (generally below 1,500 feet).
DEQ said it expects the air quality advisory to last through Friday.
Check current air quality conditions and advisories on DEQ’s website or by downloading the OregonAir app on a smartphone.
Several county health and local air agencies have also issued local wood burning restrictions limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces and outdoor burning. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local health or air agency for current restrictions.
People can take the following precautions to protect their health:
• Follow local burn restrictions to prevent deteriorating air quality.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
• Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.
• Use certified HEPA filters in indoor heating and ventilation systems. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air filters.
• Avoid wood-burning stoves and use other sources of indoor heat if possible.
DEQ’s color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions and ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, seniors, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.
• Check current conditions and advisories on DEQ’s Air Quality Index at https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map or by downloading the OregonAIR on your app on your smartphone.
• Learn more about the Air Quality Index: https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/text/368
• Oregon DEQ: Lauren Wirtis, Public Affairs Specialist, 503-229-6488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oregon.gov/deq
• Lane Regional Air Protection Agency: Merlyn Hough, Director of LRAPA, 541-736-1056 x216, email@example.com, or Lance Giles, LRAPA data quality coordinator, 541-736-1056 x229, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.lrapa.org
• Southwest Clean Air Agency: Uri Papish, Executive Director, 360-574-3058 x112, email@example.com, www.swcleanair.org