Bend, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for Harney, Baker and Malheur counties based on the latest information from the National Weather Service.
The advisory includes northern Harney County, the Treasure Valley area in Malheur County and the Baker City area. Forecasters expect an inversion over these areas, conditions which include light winds and limited mixing in the air. During an inversion, smoke can be trapped at ground level where people breathe and potentially build up in concentration for the duration of the stagnant air pattern.
DEQ asks people in the affected areas to refrain from outdoor burning and to use alternatives to woodstoves if other heating options are available and practical. Information on woodstoves and woodstove smoke: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/Residential/Pages/Woodst...
Be sure to check for any local burning restrictions or wood stove advisories in each particular community before burning.
Exposure to ambient particulate matter pollution is one of the top risk factors that contribute to premature death in the Unites States, accounting for approximately 100,000 deaths annually. Numerous scientific studies have linked smoke pollution to a variety of problems including coughing, aggravated asthma, bronchitis and irregular heartbeat.
Health officials recommend that young children, pregnant women, asthma sufferers, those with lung or heart conditions and adults age 65 and older limit vigorous outdoor activity. Pollution levels tend to be highest during evening and morning hours.
Visit DEQ's Air Quality Index for current conditions: http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/
Greg Svelund, Public Affairs, 541-633-2008, firstname.lastname@example.org