Bend, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and state and local health officials urge residents throughout much of Oregon to take health precautions from smoke caused by wildfires.
Air quality is unhealthy for sensitive populations throughout Central and Eastern Oregon, including the communities of Sisters, The Dalles, Baker City, Pendleton and La Grande. DEQ along with the Southwest Clean Air Agency in Washington and the Lane Regional Air Protection issued an air pollution advisory for Portland, Vancouver, Salem, Eugene and Medford on Wednesday. That advisory is expected to last through Tuesday.
While residents can view current air quality conditions at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/
, it's important to remember that Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities. Many smaller communities are currently experiencing unhealthy air quality, though they may not be close to a monitor. It's important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.
People can take the following precautions:
-Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.
-Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
-If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke. Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. People in any of these groups might consider leaving the area until air quality improves.
-People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.
Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction.
Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/