Marion County public health officials note that wildfire smoke is affecting air quality around Detroit and Idanha in the North Santiam Canyon. This may continue for several days.
Wildfire smoke can lead to stinging eyes and scratchy throat in anyone and it makes sense for all residents in smoky communities to avoid smoke exposure. Certain people, though, are at higher risk of illness. "People with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly and children have higher risk of health problems from the fine particles in wildfire smoke," said Dr. Karen Landers, Marion County Health Officer. "When there is heavy smoke, these folks should spend as little time outside as possible, and might consider leaving the smoke-affected area until air quality improves. When air quality is especially bad, even people who aren't in one of the high risk groups should avoid strenuous outdoor activity."
Everyone can take the following precautions to avoid breathing problems or other symptoms from smoke:
Be aware of air quality in your area. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for current information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activity when smoke is heavy.
People can keep air in their home clean by using a "HEPA" filter that removes fine particles from the air.
Drink plenty of water – staying hydrated can keep airways moist which will help reduce problems with scratchy throat and coughing.
Try to avoid driving in smoky areas. If you can't avoid it, keep your windows rolled up and vents closed. Keep air conditioning on "re-circulate" to avoid bringing smoke into your car.
Avoid heavy smoke by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors.
People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems, should follow their disease management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.
More information on air quality is available by calling 2-1-1, or on Oregon Health Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites: