Wildfires across the state and western region continue to cause smoky conditions that can pose a health risk to certain people.
Some forecasts show westerly winds clearing smoke from the area as early as Friday night, while others show smoky conditions until early next week.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) air monitors showed lower levels of pollution as of Friday morning, but air quality in Portland is still in the unhealthy range. Slightly lower temperatures should help improve conditions moving into the weekend.
Multnomah County Health Department is working closely with the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Environmental Quality to urge residents to take precautions as heat and smoky conditions create poor air quality. Small particles from wildfire smoke and ozone near the ground from car exhaust and very hot air 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
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.
If you are planning on traveling, check conditions prior to leaving. Haze can result in decreased visibility and longer travel times.
Check media outlets throughout the weekend for updates on heat and air quality.
Check the current local air quality conditions on DEQ’s website (http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx) or call 503-229-6397.
Check the Oregon Smoke blog, for the latest on fires across the state: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/
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