Umatillla County health officials urge residents to take precautions due to wildfire smoke

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FROM A UMATILLA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH PRESS RELEASE:

Umatilla County - The Washington State Okanogan and Wenatchee Complex fires and a weather inversion are creating hazardous and smoky conditions for Umatilla County. The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for northeast Oregon for the next several days.

What the public can do to protect themselves from harmful wildfire smoke:

  1. People with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly, and children have higher risk of health problems from the fine particles in wildfire smoke. They should consider leaving the area to go to a place with better air quality. 

  2. Avoid smoke when it appears or smells the heaviest by staying indoors or when DEQ indicates “Unhealthy” air conditions, closing and sealing all windows and doors. If your air conditioner uses re-circulated air, continue running it. If possible, use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter. If your air conditioner pulls in air from outside, turn it off. Locking windows may provide a tighter seal from the smoky air.

  3. People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions, should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.

  4. Continue to monitor local news outlets; we will continue to provide updated information as we receive it.

The updated recommendations above will continue UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, pending weather forecasts (changing wind direction and temperatures).

HELPFUL WEBSITE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Oregon Health Authority Healthoregon.org/preparedness

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

Current updates on the Washington State and Oregon Wildfires: inciweb.org/ or www.wrh.noaa.gov/pdt/

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