Oregon Smoke Information

Map Notes:

The map above is not able to show all state air quality monitors. To see the whole set, go to the Air Quality Now tab below
and click on DEQ's Air Quality Index which will bring up a map with many additional state monitors. Round icons represent permanent state air quality monitors, triangular icons represent temporary smoke monitors (when deployed).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Smoke from the Pit 36 Fire in Estacada may bring unhealthy air to Portland and the Willamette Valley over the weekend

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
News Release
Release Date: September 19, 2014

Contacts: David Monro, Air Quality Manager, Portland, 503-793-9635
Impacted areas expected to include Portland, Salem, Tigard, Albany and Corvallis

Oregon DEQ urges people to take health precautions over the weekend as smoke from the Pit 36 Fire in Estacada is expected to bring unhealthy air quality levels to Portland and the Willamette Valley. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions should protect themselves during periods of poor air quality.

People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children, are advised to stay indoors. Poor air quality conditions are a health threat and should be avoided by all residents in smoky communities. Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors, including wind direction.
During wildfire smoke events, DEQ urges residents to take the following precautions:

• Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.
• Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, and by closing windows and doors

• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
• People exposed to smoky conditions and who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.

How healthy is the air in your community? Check DEQ’s Air Quality Index http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx to see real-time air monitoring data from monitors placed around Oregon.
What if your community doesn’t have an air quality monitor? Monitoring locations are limited and pollution levels may be higher in some areas, especially those closer to a wildfire.

Conduct a visual assessment: People can conduct a visual assessment of nearby smoke to quickly get a sense of air quality levels. Generally, if you can see up to 15 miles, the air quality is probably good. If you can see less than one mile, the air quality is very unhealthy and everyone should avoid outdoor activities. Refer to the descriptions below for more information based on how far you can see in various conditions:

Between 5-15 miles: Air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate, and is generally healthy, except possibly for smoke sensitive persons. The general public should avoid prolonged exposure if conditions are smoky to the point where visibility is closer to the 5 mile range.
If under 5 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness. These people should minimize outdoor activity.

If under 3 miles: The air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Young children, adults over age 65, pregnant women, and people with heart and/or lung disease, asthma or other respiratory illness should avoid all outdoor activities.
If under 1 mile: The air quality is very unhealthy, and in some cases may be hazardous. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities.

Visit the Oregon Health Authority’s wildfire webpage http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx
For more information on using the visibility index during wildfires, visit www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/visibility.htm

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