Wildfires in the Northwest have increased since the 1980s. Scientists attribute this to human-caused climate change. This means more bad air days from wildfire smoke in Multnomah County.
When wildfires burn, winds can push smoke into populated areas. Wildfire smoke is full of different pollutants, including particulate matter and carbon monoxide. We also see high ozone levels. Breathing in smoke can cause health problems for sensitive groups and healthy adults.
Check local air quality online or call 503-229-5696.
Check the Oregon Smoke Blog for the latest on fires. Sign up for PublicAlerts. Check for health department issued wood burning restrictions or local fire department burn bans.
For air quality conditions and health guidance on-the-go, download the Smoke Sense App on your phone.
Prepare for a smoke event:
- Plan for a clean air room at home to protect from wildfire smoke:
- Clean or replace air filters if you have AC or an air cleaner.
- Learn about masks. An “N95” respirator can offer some protection if you must be outdoors, but it must be properly worn (Watch this video). Masks and face coverings help reduce transmission of COVID-19, but do not protect against smoke.
- Have a several day supply of medications plus groceries that don’t require cooking.
- Make a plan in case you need to evacuate because of smoke or wildfire risk.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19 and may also help protect people around you.
AQI: A video explaining the Air Quality Index
For Educators and Parents: Guidance for School Outdoor Activities
For Healthcare Providers: Oregon Health Authority's healthcare provider guidance
For Employers: Contact Oregon OSHA for employer resources
For Pet Owners: Protect your pets
Frequently Asked Questions: Oregon Health Authority Wildfire Smoke and Your Health