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The Dalles, OR—Aug. 14 UPDATE: Air quality advisory is lifted. Firefighting activities yesterday were successful in containing fire and reducing smoke.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for The Dalles-Mosier-Hood River area due to smoke from the Mosier Creek Fire.

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Saturday morning, and potentially longer. DEQ will continue to monitor smoke in this area.

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

Air quality monitors in The Dalles showed unhealthy for sensitive groups, or orange, Thursday morning. Monitors showed unhealthy for everyone, or red, late Wednesday night. Smoke levels are likely to continue fluctuating throughout the day depending on wind.

Smoke can irritate people’s eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women, and people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.

Protect your health when smoke levels are high:
• Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
• Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
• Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These can be portable filters or can be installed in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems.
• 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 masks that are tested to ensure proper fit and that are worn correctly may provide protection. Otherwise, they might just provide a false sense of security. They are not recommended for strenuous activities and are in limited supply due to COVID-19. Additional information on wildfire smoke and COVID-19 can be found on the Center for Disease Control webpage .

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.

Media contact: Laura Gleim, public affairs specialist, 503-577-3697, gleim.laura@deq.state.or.us

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