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News Release: DEQ issues air quality advisory for Portland metro, northeastern Oregon, portions of Willamette Valley, extends advisory for Southwest OR

Portland, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued air quality advisories for the Portland metro area and Southwest Washington where smoke from wildfires burning in Washington has created unhealthy air quality.

DEQ also issued an air quality advisory for portions of Northeastern Oregon and the Willamette Valley and  extended an existing air quality in Jackson and Josephine counties and portions of Klamath County. Air quality is expected to be a concern there through the weekend.

Conditions in the Portland metro area should improve by Wednesday afternoon, but high-level smoke and haze will linger through the week there. Smoke is expected to drift farther south into the Willamette Valley and upper-level smoke is also expected to linger there. Smoke is expected to last through the weekend in Northeastern Oregon with levels rising and falling. Light winds could bring some clearing on Thursday.

Air quality was unhealthy in a number of cities along the Interstate 84 corridor on Tuesday morning including Hillsboro, Portland, The Dalles, Pendleton and La Grande. Portions of the Willamette Valley including Salem and Corvallis were seeing moderate air quality. In Southwest Oregon, air quality monitors in Medford and Ashland were both unhealthy, while air quality was very unhealthy in Shady Cove and unhealthy for sensitive groups in Klamath Falls.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fire activity and weather factors including wind direction. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store.
The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.
The Oregon Health Authority urges residents of affected communities to take steps to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions.
Be aware of the level of health risk posed by area wildfire smoke. Get the latest information by visiting the Oregon Smoke blog. Go to or call 2-1-1.

Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous. Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high. If smoke levels are expected to remain high for more than two days, they might consider leaving the area until air quality improves. Others can avoid smoke by staying indoors with windows and doors closed. 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.

Go to the Oregon Smoke Blog at, for the latest on wildfire smoke and air quality across the state. The blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources.

Contact: DEQ: Laura Gleim, Public Affairs Specialist, Portland, 503-229-6488,

OHA, Delia Hernandez, 503-422-7179, External Relations,