For release: July 20, 2012
DEQ Urges Oregonians to Protect Themselves from Wildfire Smoke
It’s wildfire season in Oregon and smoke could be on the way. DEQ advises people to take precautions to protect themselves from unhealthy smoke levels.
Wildfire season is underway with several fires currently burning in the state. Under certain weather conditions smoke from these fires can drift into communities and quickly cause unhealthy air quality. Should smoke events occur, DEQ and health officials urge local residents to take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
· 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, closing all windows and doors and using a filter in your. heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter
· Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
· People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.
Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction. People can conduct a visual assessment of smoke levels to quickly get a sense of air quality levels and take precautions. If people have additional concerns, they should contact the nearest regional or local public health agency for the latest in health conditions from smoke.
For more information about local conditions:
· Visit DEQ’s wildfire information page for more information regarding active fires and air quality, along with tools to help people assess smoke levels in their area.
· Tune to local radio and TV stations and the Weather Channel in affected areas that may include the very latest fire information in news programming and weather reports.
· Obtain a dedicated NOAA Weather Radio receiver, which will alert you 24 hours a day to hazards in your area.