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Sisters smoky air drops from 'hazardous' to 'unhealthy'

From wildfire smoke; officials urge precautions

SISTERS, Ore. - (Updated: Later Sunday readings in Sisters at 'unhealthy' level)

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Deschutes County Public Health officials advised people around Sisters on Sunday to take health precautions from hazardous levels of smoke caused by several nearby wildfires. Levels dropped later in the day to the "unhealthy" category.

The region has experienced air quality that is considered hazardous, meaning people can be expected to experience health impacts from particulate matter.

People who are sensitive to smoke, which includes children, the elderly and those with asthma, should remain indoors, where air quality is generally better than outside. When indoors, keep windows and doors closed if possible. When running air conditioners, keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.

When temperatures are very warm, people without an air conditioner should seek shelter elsewhere where air quality is better.

People should also consider taking the following precautions:

• Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the
places with highest concentrations.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.
• If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or
are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke.
• Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid them if possible.
• Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk.
• People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should
follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare
providers.

Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction.

While residents can view current air quality conditions at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/ , Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities. For this reason, it's important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

View guidance from the Oregon Health Authority on children and outdoor activities during periods of poor air quality: https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/le8815h.pdf

Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/


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