Wildfire smoke affecting air quality in western Oregon & Washington

Preparing For Fire Season: How Wildfire Smoke Affects Our Health

Copyright 4 News Now

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials have issued an air quality advisory for several counties, including Portland, as stale, unseasonably warm temperatures and stagnant air have caused wildfire smoke to linger.

Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Douglas and northern Klamath will be under the advisory through at least Friday, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Department of Environmental Quality officials said smoke from the ongoing Cedar Creek fire in Oregon and smaller fires in southwest Washington, is sitting over parts of Oregon.

The Eugene area measured in the red unhealthy zone Monday while Multnomah County was unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Those groups include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people. Environmental officials encourage people in this category to stay indoors when possible and avoid strenuous outdoor activity. Those recommendations apply to all residents in red unhealthy zones.

While smoke particles can penetrate regular cloth masks, N-95 or ZYB-11 respirators can help filter out the smoke, according to Lauren Wirtis, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s northwest region.

In Washington, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency said Monday that air quality in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties was in the unhealthy for sensitive groups category.

Areas near Washington’s Cascade Mountains were seeing unhealthy air, officials said. Winds Monday evening should help improve conditions, but more high pressure and dry weather this week means more smoke impacts are expected, agency officials said.