Wednesday, February 26, 2020

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: DEQ extends air quality advisory due to stagnation into next week

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued the following announcement on Dec. 6.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Lane Regional Air Protection Agency and Southwest Clean Air Agency are extending the air quality advisory for the Willamette Valley, Columbia River Gorge through The Dalles and southwest Washington due to stagnant air conditions trapping wood smoke near the ground where people breathe. The advisory for Central Oregon has been lifted due to changing weather conditions expected to improve air quality. The advisory was initially issued on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to remain in place through Tuesday at noon.

Check current air quality conditions and advisories on DEQ’s website or by downloading the OregonAir app on a smartphone.

Several county health and local air agencies have also issued local wood burning restrictions limiting the use of wood stoves, fireplaces and outdoor burning. There are often exceptions for those who use wood exclusively to heat their homes and those with limited income. Check with your local health or air agency for current restrictions.

People can take the following precautions to protect their health:

• Follow local burn restrictions to prevent deteriorating air quality.

• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

• Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high.

• Use certified HEPA filters in indoor heating and ventilation systems. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air filters.

• Avoid wood-burning stoves and use other sources of indoor heat if possible.

DEQ’s color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions and ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, seniors, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

Original source can be found here.

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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

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