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  • Woodstove smoke - a source of winter air pollution in Oregon
    With cooler temperatures in Oregon, it is a perfect time to talk about woodstove smoke. If not used correctly, woodstoves can emit a lot of smoke, which is bad news for both the environment and your health.
    Consider this: It only takes 20 of the older, non-certified woodstoves to emit more than 1 ton of fine particular pollution (called PM2.5) into the air. The problem gets bigger when you realize people burn more than 10 million woodstoves in just the United States. 
    Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses.
    Fortunately, burning smart is fairly easy to do.
    • Burn only wood. No garbage, plastics, rubber, paint or oil, briquettes, paper, etc. Burning these items releases harmful chemicals into the air. 
    • Build small, hot fires instead of large, smoldering ones. 
    • Don't "bed the fire down" for the night. Holding a fire overnight is a fire hazard and can create serious indoor and outdoor air pollution problems. 
    • Open your damper if the smoke is dark. Dark smoke indicates more pollution is being produced and fuel is being wasted. 
    • Keep your stove clean and well-maintained. Follow manufacturer guidelines; replace catalytic stove filters every 1-4 years. Have your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.
    Learn more about the health impacts of woodstove smoke and simple tips you can take to burn smarter. Or watch a short video on the 4 steps to splitting and drying wood.
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DEQ Office Locations, Hours and Closures

As of April 2015, the DEQ’s Western Region office in Salem new address is: 4026 Fairview Industrial Drive, Salem, OR. 97302.
As of May 2015, DEQ's Northwest Region Office new address is: 700 NE Multnomah St. (the 700 Lloyd Building), Portland, OR 97232.
For notice of inclement weather closures at DEQ and statewide, check the Oregon State Office Closures page.
A message from the Director, Dick Pedersen
Wildfires and the air you breathe: how we help protect your health
Dick PedersenFor most people, Oregon DEQ brings to mind environmental protection and regulation. And that’s true. We care a lot about the environment and the health of our air, land and water.
But we also care about the health of Oregonians. We care about people and their quality of life.

DEQ may not be able to prevent a wildfire from destroying your home, but our scientific data on air quality levels can ultimately help save lives.
Our work during wildfire season is a good (and timely) example of how our responsibilities to environmental health and human health can converge. During wildfires, DEQ’s primary responsibility is to monitor air quality and use our data to help the public protect themselves from severe
smoke impacts.
Visit the Oregon Smoke blog, for the latest and most comprehensive information on wildfire smoke and air quality across the state. 
Epnewswire, 11/14/25
East Oregonian, Pendleton, 11/23/15