The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency have issued an air quality advisory for an area that includes Benton County primarily due to smoke from the Cedar Creek fire near Oakridge.
The advisory, which also includes Marion, Linn, Polk and Yamhill counties, begins Sunday and will continue into the week.
Officials said smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather. Conditions can be checked on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR smartphone app.
“Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions,” the advisory warns. “People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people.”
• Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it’s too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
• Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter.
• Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
• When air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out homes and businesses.
• If you have a breathing plan for a medical condition, be sure to follow it and keep any needed medications refilled.