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DEQ Issues Air Quality Advisory for Unity

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
News Release

Release date:  Aug. 15, 2016

Unity, OR -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality urges residents in Unity to take precautions from smoke caused by the Rail Fire burning in eastern Oregon.
Air quality in the Unity area through early afternoon is expected to be very unhealthy meaning everyone should avoid outdoor exertion and that those with respiratory or heart disease and the elderly and children should remain indoors. Air quality readings are expected to drop to moderate levels later in the afternoon. Unusually sensitive groups, such as those with respiratory disease, should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion when air quality is moderate.
High smoke levels can create health problems for even healthy people so remember to limit your exposure to smoke by keeping windows and doors closed, reducing the time you spend in smoky areas and avoiding strenuous outdoor activity. The elderly, children and those with respiratory diseases can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoke.
The Rail Fire started July 31 about five miles from Unity in Baker County. As of Monday morning it had grown to 16,288 acres.
Smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather conditions including wind direction.
People can conduct a visual assessment of smoke levels to quickly get a sense of air quality levels and take precautions.
Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information on active fires and air quality, along with tools to help people assess smoke levels in their area. The site is an effort by city, county, tribal, state and federal agencies to provide information for Oregon communities affected by wildfire smoke. You can also follow them on Twitter: @ORSmokeBlog.