July 29, 2018

Smokey skies in Portland during summer of 2017.
Wildfires across the state may cause smoky conditions this week that can pose a health risk to certain people. Air quality levels in the Portland area are currently good, but could worsen early this week due to wind shifts.

Multnomah County's Health Department works with the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Environmental Quality to urge residents to take precautions as wind patterns and smoky conditions may create poor air quality this week. Small particles from wildfire smoke can irritate the eyes, throat and lungs.

Those at higher risk of health problems from poor air quality include:

  • People with chronic lung or heart conditions

  • The elderly

  • Children

To avoid breathing problems or other symptoms, avoid intense outdoor activity when air quality is poor and stay inside.

Anyone with lung problems such as asthma or emphysema should follow their disease management plans, have medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.

Check the current local air quality conditions on DEQ’s website (https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map) or call 503-229-5696.

Check the  Oregon Smoke blog, for the latest on fires across the state: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

A good resource for air quality conditions around the USA with health guidance is: https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqi_brochure.index