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Air quality advisory for Central and Southern Oregon


Location: Deschutes, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Eastern Lane counties
End date: Wednesday night, July 26, with possibility to extend
Smoke source: Bedrock Fire between Bend and Eugene and Flat Fire in southwest Oregon

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued an air quality advisory Monday for parts of Central and Southern Oregon.

DEQ and LRAPA expect intermittent smoke in the following areas through at least Wednesday night:
  • Deschutes County (worst overnight and early morning hours) due to the Bedrock Fire.
  • Jackson County due to the Flat Fire.
  • Josephine County (localized near the Cave Junction area by the Flat Fire).
  • Klamath County due to the Bedrock Fire.
  • Lake County due to the Bedrock Fire.
  • Lane County (localized near the Oakridge area by the Bedrock Fire).
Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people.

Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:
  • Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it’s too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions.
  • Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
  • When air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out homes and businesses.
  • If you have a breathing plan for a medical condition, be sure to follow it and keep any needed medications refilled.
Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn. Select a NIOSH-approved respirator with a N, R or P alongside the number 95, 99 or 100. Learn how to put on and use a respirator. Respirators won’t work for children as they don’t come in children’s sizes. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their health care provider before wearing a respirator.

Additional resources:
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Smoke reached hazardous levels in Bend Monday morning, July 24.
Photo credit: Carrie Karl, City of Bend.