Dealing with the smoke – PSA from the Fire Department

The Bend Fire Department today issued a PSA on dealing with and protecting yourself from all the wildfire smoke we have floating through Bend right now. Good, common sense stuff that’s always a helpful reminder:

Smoke from wildland fires across Oregon has created unhealthy air quality in Bend over the last few days, and we expect that these conditions may persist at least into next week, according to the Pendleton office of the National Weather Service. This level of air pollution is harmful to all, but here are a few ways to minimize the effects, from the Deschutes County Health Department and the Oregon Health Authority:

  • Avoid areas of highest concentrations of smoke, if possible
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible by closing windows and doors to minimize smoke in your home
  • If possible, use a high efficiency (HEPA) air filter
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions
  • Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors
  • People with asthma or other respiratory problems should carefully follow their breathing management
    plans and stay in contact with their healthcare providers
  • Call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing health symptoms due to smoke
  • Paper or dust masks do not offer reliable respiratory protection from smoke: an N95 mask
    (properly fitted, available at building supply and hardware stores) offers some protection from the
    particulates in smoke, but may increase breathing effort.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Consider leaving a very smoky area if you have health conditions that put you at higher risk for illness
    from wildfire smoke

Your best information resource may be your own healthcare provider.
Again, if you experience serious health symptoms, call 9-1-1.

Obviously many of us have to be outdoors for at least a little bit each day (even if it’s just going to/from work), but do the best you can to keep clear of the smoke. Stay safe!