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News Release: DEQ issues air quality advisory for Central and Eastern Oregon

Statewide, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for Central and Eastern Oregon as smoke from fires throughout the Pacific Northwest continues to affect Oregon.

DEQ is also expanding a previous advisory for Southwest Oregon to include Douglas County. That air quality advisory remains in place for Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties until further notice.

The new advisory covers: Crook, Baker, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Wallowa and Wheeler. Conditions are expected to last until Thursday.

On Monday at 9 a.m., conditions in Madras, The Dalles and Enterprise were moderate. Conditions in Sisters, Bend, Burns and Baker City were unhealthy for sensitive groups. Conditions in Prineville, John Day and Cove were unhealthy. Conditions were very unhealthy in La Grande and hazardous in Pendleton.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly. 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 Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information:

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.

County health officials encourage residents to take the following precautions:
  •       Reduce time spent outdoors when smoke is present.
  •       Use an indoor high-efficiency air filter (HEPA) or electrostatic precipitator in your home to help create one or more rooms with cleaner air to breathe.
  •        Set your air conditioning or heating unit to recycle or recirculate when at home or in your car.
  •        Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  •        Reduce other sources of indoor smoke and dust, including: burning cigarettes, candles, gas or propane ranges, wood burning stoves and furnaces, and vacuuming.
  •        Reduce the time you engage in vigorous outdoor activity.
  •        If you have heart or lung disease or respiratory illnesses such as asthma, follow your health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.
  •        Consider maximizing time in air-conditioned homes or buildings during smoky periods or visit public, air-conditioned places such as libraries, community centers, senior centers, restaurants, and retailers for relief from smoke.

Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities so it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

DEQ also has advisories in place for Benton, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill. Conditions are expected to last through Wednesday.

The Lane Regional Protection Agency issued an air quality advisory from 10 a.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Thursday for Lane County.

In Washington, advisories cover Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiaaum counties.

Contact: DEQ: Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-600-6119,

Deschutes County Health Services, Morgan Feld, 541-322-7466

Crook County Public Health, Vicky Ryan, 541-323-2467

Jefferson County Public Health, Emily Wegener, 541-325-5001 ext. 4227