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.
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:
- Plan for a clean air room at home to protect from wildfire smoke:
- Consider purchasing an air cleaner. Here are some tips or, build your own box fan filter.
- Clean or replace air filters if you have AC or an air cleaner.
- 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.
- Have several day supply of medications and groceries that don’t require cooking.
- Make a plan, in case you need to evacuate because of fire risk or smoke.
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 Questions: Oregon Health Authority Wildfire Smoke and Your Health