Moderate to unhealthy smoke expected to linger until at least Tuesday
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Saturday for Klamath, Lake, Deschutes and Wallowa counties due to smoke from multiple wildfires, including the Cedar Creek and Rum Creek fires.
DEQ said it also expects intermittent moderate to unhealthy smoke in Central and Northeastern Oregon through at least 3 p.m. Tuesday due to localized impacts from nearby fires. This includes Baker, eastern Grant, Malheur, northern Harney, eastern Lane, and southern Douglas counties.
Much of the region was in the “unhealthy” category Saturday morning but improved to “moderate” air quality levels in many areas by the afternoon. Redmond and Sisters were in the “good” quality, but La Pine remained in the “unhealthy” air quality level. Some areas of Bend still had levels considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups” — for the latest, check the E::SPACE air quality map on our weather page.
The DEQ’s smoke advisory for Josephine, Jackson and Curry counties remains in effect. Check Oregon’s daily smoke outlooks to see what times of day smoke might be better or worse in Southwest, Eastern and Central Oregon.
Smoke levels can change rapidly, depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people.
Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:
- Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it’s too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions.
- Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
- When air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out homes and businesses.
- If you have a breathing plan for a medical condition, be sure to follow it and keep any needed medications refilled.
Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn. Select a NIOSH-approved respirator with a N, R or P alongside the number 95, 99 or 100. Learn how to put on and use a respirator. Respirators won’t work for children as they don’t come in children’s sizes. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their health care provider before wearing a respirator.
- Find a cleaner air space in your area: Visit 211info.org and search for “Wildfire Related Clean Air Shelters.” Or call 211 any time or day.
- Learn more about protecting your health during wildfires
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