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Air advisory for central and northeastern Oregon extended until Friday

The Old Mill District in Bend is seen through the smoke in Bend, Sept. 12, 2022. Much of Central Oregon is experiencing unhealthy air quality due to wildfires.
Joni Auden Land
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The Old Mill District in Bend is seen through the smoke in Bend, Sept. 12, 2022. Much of Central Oregon is experiencing unhealthy air quality due to wildfires.

An air quality advisory has been extended until Friday for parts of central and northeastern Oregon.

The state Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency extended the advisory for Baker, Deschutes, Union and Wallowa counties, and parts of Klamath, Lake and Lane counties.

Laura Gleim with the DEQ said smoke from the Cedar Creek Fire near Oakridge and the Double Creek Fire near Imnaha have created moderate to unhealthy air conditions for these areas.

“We have different monitors are all around the state,” Gleim said. “In central Oregon, most of the monitors are registering at the orange or red level which is unhealthy for sensitive groups, or unhealthy for everybody. Up in the northeastern part of the state, we’re mostly in the yellow or moderate range with some areas in the unhealthy range closer to the fires.”

Gleim said the best way to know the air quality in your area is to check the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

Gleim says forecasted weather may bring a break to some areas.

“It does look like the eastern part of the state might be getting some more rains and so that could help reduce the fires and reduce the smoke,” Gleim said. “It’s unclear what’s going to happen in the central Oregon area.”

People in areas under advisory are asked to stay inside and use a HEPA air filter when possible.

Gleim said cloth and surgical masks don’t offer adequate protection from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn.

Local safe air shelters have opened across the state. People can dial 211 for more information.

Copyright 2022 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Alex Hasenstab