|PORTLAND, Ore– Fires in Washington, Canada and Idaho are affecting Northeastern Oregon and the Central Columbia River Gorge. The Middle Fork Complex and other fires near Oakridge are affecting Lane County.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Monday for Northeastern Oregon and the Central Columbia River Gorge due to smoke from fires in Washington, Idaho and Canada. The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency also issued an advisory Monday for Eastern Lane County due to smoke from fires near Oakridge.
*Counties under advisory include Wallowa, Baker, Union, Umatilla, Morrow, Sherman, Gilliam, Wasco and Lane counties.
DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until Thursday evening. DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor smoke in these areas.
Health officials advise people to refill inhalers and air out homes and businesses when smoke levels improve to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index).
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 women.
Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:
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 fitted and worn. They won’t work for everyone, especially children. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their doctor before wearing a respirator. Get more information about protecting your health during wildfires.