The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued air quality advisories for much of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Smoke from local wood stoves and other sources have combined to create unhealthy air quality in many parts of the region.
The National Weather Service expects winds to clear smoke from the Willamette Valley starting Friday evening. South of Eugene and other parts of the state may continue to experience stagnant air conditions and poor air quality through the weekend.
Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fire activity and weather factors including wind direction.
View current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map or by downloading the Oregon air app on smartphones.
Many local jurisdictions are under wood burning restrictions, limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces, and outdoor firepits. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local health or air agency for current restrictions. Areas under active wood stove restrictions include:
- Multnomah County ( http://bit.ly/MultCoSmoke )
- Washington County ( http://bit.ly/WACoSmoke )
- Lane County ( http://www.lrapa.org )
- Jackson County ( http://bit.ly/JacksonCoSmoke )
- Southwest Washington state ( http://www.swcleanair.org )
The Oregon Health Authority urges residents of affected communities to take steps to avoid health problems during smoky conditions, including:
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy.
- Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.
- True high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and non-ozone producing electrostatic precipitator (ESP) air cleaners and filters can help keep indoor air cleaner.
- Reduce other sources of indoor smoke. Avoid burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, wood-burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.
- If you have heart disease or lung disease, such as asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.