The map above is not able to show all state air quality monitors. To see the whole set, go to the left column, under Hot Links and click on DEQ Air Quality map 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).
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Wildfire Smoke Inhalation Prevention -- A Message from The North Central Public Health District
In the midst of wildfire season, North Central Public Health District would like to remind residents to take precautions to avoid illness due to wildfire smoke inhalation.
Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Poor air quality conditions are a health threat and all residents should limit their exposure to smoke. Those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children, are advised to stay indoors when the air-quality is poor.
Please visit the DEQ Air Quality Index found at the link below. The DEQ site is updated hourly and is color-coded for easy to read information. Unfortunately, the only permanent monitor for our region is in The Dalles, with Gov. Camp, Madras and Hermiston being the next closest monitors. A link is also provided below with information on the 5-3-1 Visibility Index if there is not a monitor near you.
Please take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
1. Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area. See the links below for DEQ’s Air Quality Index and Oregon Smoke blog.
2. Avoid outdoor exertion during such conditions. Avoid strenuous outdoor activity including sports practice, work and recreation.
3. Drink lots of water - staying hydrated can keep your airways moist which will help reduce symptoms of respiratory irritation such as scratchy throat, running nose and coughing.
4. Try to avoid driving in smoky areas. If you do need to drive in these areas, keep your windows rolled up and vents closed. If you need air conditioning, make sure you set your system on “re-circulate” to avoid bringing smoke into your car.
5. Avoid smoke by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors and use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter.
6. People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems, should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.
Please see the attached Wildfire Smoke & Your Health FAQ and visit the helpful links below for additional information:
DEQ’s Air Quality Index for current air quality conditions
DEQ’s 5-3-1 Visibility Index for estimating smoke levels via visual observation
Oregon Smoke blog for the latest on fires and air quality across the state
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet about the health threats from wildfire smoke
(For more information, please contact North Central Public Health District at (541) 506-2600 or visit us on the web at www.ncphd.org.) The district serves Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties.