DEQ Issues Air Quality Smoke Advisory for Central Oregon
Aug 03,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality smoke advisory for Central Oregon residents Tuesday.  Concern about haze and unhealthful levels of smoke in Sisters and Bend caused by the Black Crater and Maxwell fires prompted the Advisory.

Smoke is made up of tiny particles (particulate matter) that can be harmful to breathe, especially for children, older adults and those with asthma and other lung or heart conditions. This particulate matter also reduces visibility, causing the haze that’s been noticeable in the area. Symptoms that people may experience from smoke include varying degrees of repeated coughing, shortness of breath, scratchy throat, wheezing, chest tightness, heart palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, or lightheadedness. 

If smoke returns to the area, Environmental and health officials urge local residents to take the following precautions to reduce or eliminate breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:

§         Stay indoors if possible

§         Avoid strenuous outdoor activity

§         Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid those areas with highest concentrations

§         If you have asthma or suffer from other respiratory problems, follow your asthma or breathing management plan or contact your health provider

“Northwest to north low-level wind continues to push smoke to the south and southeast,” said Jim Trost, a meteorologist with the Oregon Department of Forestry in Salem. “Sisters remains vulnerable to smoke impacts during the nights and mornings, while daytime flow will drift smoke toward Bend.”

For air quality information, go to www.deq.state.or.us/aq/index.htm