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DEQ: Smoky skies causing 'unhealthy' pollution levels

By KTVZ.COM news soirces
Published On: Jun 08 2014 12:21:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 08 2014 05:16:34 PM CDT
Two Bulls Fire Shevlin Park Rd

Heather Kegler

Dark, roiling smoke plumes tower over homes on Shevlin Park Road west of Bend as crews battle the Two Bulls Fire Saturday evening

BEND, Ore. -

Due to the Two Bulls wildfire, smoky conditions are expected to persist throughout Deschutes County for an indefinite amount of time. 

Deschutes County Health Services will continue to communicate to the public the health impact of wildfire smoke inhalation on an ongoing basis until the fires reside.  Residents can check the current local air quality conditions on the state Department of Environmental Quality’s website (http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/index.aspx) or call
(503) 229-6397.

DEQ's Sisters monitoring station reported "unhealthy" levels of particulate matter on the one-hour and 24-hour readings Sunday morning. At its Bend Pump Station site, the one-hour reading was good Sunday morning, but the 24-hour reading was at unhealthy levels.

WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK FROM WILDIFRE SMOKE? People with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly, children, and pregnant women have a higher risk of health problems from breathing dense wildfire smoke.  People in these risk groups should minimize the impacts of wildfire smoke when it appears or smells the strongest or when DEQ indicates “unhealthy” air conditions by:

  • Staying indoors
  • Avoiding outdoor activities until air quality improves
  • Closing windows and doors, and
  • Using air conditioners and filters.

Those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary. Remember-the longer poor smoke conditions linger, the more likely a person’s health may be affected.  Please be prepared and think ahead regarding ordering medications.

Deschutes County Health Services will provide more detailed health recommendations as conditions change and updated information regarding air quality becomes available.

HELPFUL WEBSITE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Centers for Disease Control fact sheet about the health threats from wildfire smoke: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/facts.asp

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health effects information for particulate matter (the most harmful component of wildfire smoke for most people): http://www.epa.gov/pm/health.html

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website about wildfire smoke: http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/wildfires/index.htm .

OHA wildfire preparedness web page: http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx

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