smokey sky in PortlandWildfires 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 and sign up for PublicAlerts. Check with your local fire department for any burn bans. 

For air quality conditions and health guidance on-the-go, download the Smoke Sense App on your phone. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding cleaner air can be more challenging because of physical distancing guidelines and limited access to public facilities such as libraries, community centers, and malls. If you are fully vaccinated, you may consider travelling to cleaner air. 

Prepare for a smoke event: 

  1. Plan for a clean air room at home to protect from wildfire smoke: 
  2. Clean or replace air filters if you have AC or an air cleaner.
  3. Learn about masks. An “N95” respirator, properly worn (Watch this video), can offer some protection but may be in short supply. Masks and face coverings help reduce transmission of COVID-19, but do not protect against smoke.
  4. Have several day supply of medications and groceries that don’t require cooking.
  5. Make a plan, in case you need to evacuate because of smoke or wildfire risk. 

Learn More:

COVID-19 and Wildfire: CDC COVID-19 and wildfire FAQ

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 QuestionsOregon Health Authority Wildfire Smoke and Your Health