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News Release: DEQ, Southwest Clean Air Agency extend air advisory for Southwest Washington, Northwest Oregon

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Southwest Clean Air Agency are extending an air quality advisory for portions of Southwest Washington, the Portland metro area, North Coast, and Willamette Valley until noon Thursday.

Smoke should begin to clear in those areas overnight, with additional clearing occurring in the morning, according to the latest forecasts.

An air quality advisory in place for Curry and Douglas counties is now set to expire at 6 p.m. Thursday. DEQ has an air quality advisory is in place until further notice in Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Some clearing is expected Thursday night in those counties and additional improvements could occur Friday.

Central and Eastern Oregon (Crook, Baker, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wasco, Wheeler) are under an air quality advisory until noon Thursday.

Lane Regional Air Protection Agency has also issued an air quality advisory for Lane County until 6 a.m. Thursday.

In Oregon, the advisory for the Portland metro area, North Coast and Willamatte Valley includes: Benton, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Linn, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill.  In Washington, it covers Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties.

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. 

People can take the following precautions:
- Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
- If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke.
- Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. These residents are encouraged to stay indoors.
- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.

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.