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News Release: DEQ, SWCAA issue air quality advisory for Southwest Washington, Portland metro, North Coast, Willamette Valley

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Southwest Clean Air Agency have issued an air quality advisory for portions of Southwest Washington, Portland, the Oregon North Coast and much of the Willamette Valley. 

Conditions are expected to worsen this evening and smoke is expected last through Wednesday. In Oregon, the advisory covers the following counties; Benton, Clatsop, Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, Yamhill. Lane County is not currently under the advisory, but conditions there could worsen in the next few days depending on weather and wildfire conditions. Check for the latest advisories there. 

In Washington, the advisory covers Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties. 
In Oregon, an air quality advisory remains in place for Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties where wildfire smoke has affected air quality for the last month. 

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. 

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