Most of Oregon under air quality advisory due to wildfire smoke and ozone through Monday Aug. 16

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Southwest Clean Air Agency and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued and extended air quality advisories Friday for many parts of Oregon due to smoke from fires in Oregon, Washington, California and Canada, as well as smog in metro areas.

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until a least noon Monday. DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor wildfire smoke and ozone pollution, or smog, in these areas.

The following areas are under advisory: 

  • Willamette Valley: Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Lane, Linn and Marion counties due to ozone pollution. Wildfire smoke is also impacting eastern Lane County.
  • Central Oregon: Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties due to smoke.
  • Eastern Oregon: Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties due to smoke.
  • Southern Oregon: Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties due to smoke. Ozone is also impacting Jackson County.
  • Southern Washington: Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania counties due to smoke and ozone.

Smoke and ozone 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.

In addition, smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs, and contributes to breathing problems. Consult your health care provider if these symptoms worsen. Ozone pollution increases throughout the day with exposure to sunlight, so pollution levels tend to be highest during afternoons and early evenings.

Protect yourself and your family when smoke or ozone levels are high:

  • Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
  • 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 or ozone in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
  • 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 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.

The Oregon Health Authority officials ask the public to refill prescriptions at pharmacies – not going to emergency rooms for refills. It is also advised that refills be done early, and whenever possible, keep extra medication on hand.

To find a cleaner air space in your area: Visit 211info.org. Click the “cooling centers” list at the top of the page. Or call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.