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News Release: DEQ extends air quality advisory for smoke impacts

Statewide, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is extending an air stagnation advisory for Southern Oregon through Tuesday. It is also issuing a new advisory for Central Oregon that will be in place from Sunday through Wednesday.

Air quality in Southern Oregon is expected to improve slightly on Saturday before deteriorating early next week, according to the National Weather Service. Wind could bring smoke from fires in California into Southern Oregon early next week creating hazy conditions. Much of the smoke currently in the state is from local sources such as wood stoves.

The advisory for Southern Oregon covers Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties. The valleys in Coos County will also be under the advisory beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday when breezes diminish and conditions become more stagnant.

In Central Oregon, the advisory that starts Sunday covers Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Sherman, Wasco, Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook and Wheeler counties.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on fires and weather conditions including wind direction. Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the OregonAir app on smartphones.

Many local jurisdictions are under wood burning restrictions, limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local heath or air agency for current restrictions.

The Oregon Health Authority urges residents of affected communities to take steps to avoid health problems during smoky conditions, including:
  •      Avoid strenuous outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy.
  •      Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable.
  •      These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.
  •      True high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and non-ozone producing electrostatic precipitator (ESP) air cleaners and filters can help keep indoor air cleaner.