September 3rd Smoke Update: Air quality advisory for parts of Southern and Central Oregon, Lane County and Santiam Canyon

Location: Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath and Lane counties and Santiam Canyon

End date: Varies by location

Smoke source: Fires in Oregon Cascades and Northern California

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency extended an air quality advisory Friday for Southern and Central Oregon, as well as Lane County and the Santiam Canyon, due to smoke from fires in the Oregon Cascades and Northern California.

The following areas are under advisory:

·                  Lane, Douglas and Josephine counties through Saturday late afternoon. Oakridge in eastern Lane County will likely continue to experience unhealthy air quality through the weekend or longer due to the nearby Middle Fork Complex Fire.

·                  Deschutes and Jefferson counties for intermittent smoke through Tuesday afternoon, with the worst smoke expected Sunday and Monday.

·                  Jackson and Klamath counties for unhealthy smoke, with some periods of relief, through Tuesday afternoon.

·                  Santiam Canyon for intermittent smoke through Tuesday afternoon, depending on nearby fire activity.

Daily smoke forecasts for Southern OregonKlamath Falls and Lane and Deschutes counties are available from the US Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program. These forecasts provide estimates of what times of day smoke might be better or worse in those areas.

Smoke 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.

Protect yourself and your family when smoke 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 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.

To find a cleaner air space in your area: Visit 211info.org, click “Find Resources” and search in the Community Resource Database for “Wildfire Related Clean Air Shelters.” Or call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

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