Wildfire Smoke Update: 10/16/18

Curry Community Health, Urges the Public to Protect Themselves from Wildfire Smoke

Curry Community Health advises members of the public to take precautions to protect themselves from unhealthy smoke levels.

Due to the Klondike Fire burning in Curry County, under certain weather conditions smoke from the fire will drift into communities and quickly cause unhealthy air quality. When smoke events occur, Curry Community Health and other health officials urge residents to take the following steps to avoid the health effects of smoke exposure:

  • To avoid smoke, either leave the area or protect yourself by staying indoors.

  • Keep indoor air cleaner by closing as many windows and doors as possible without letting your home overheat. Consider using a HEPA room air cleaner.

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

  • People with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly and children are more sensitive to the health effects of wildfire smoke. People who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions should follow their breathing management plans, keep medications on hand, and contact their health care provider if necessary.

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly depending on weather factors including wind direction. People can conduct a visual assessment of smoke levels to quickly get a sense of air quality levels and take precautions.

To use the 5-3-1 visibility index, look at how far you can see outdoors. If visibility is:

  • Well over five miles, with no haze the air quality is good.

  • Five to 15 miles away with haze, the air quality is moderate and beginning to deteriorate. Smoke sensitive persons may want to monitor their health, and use a HEPA filter during wildfires if one is available.

  • Under three to five miles, the air quality is unhealthy for smoke sensitive groups. These people should minimize outdoor activity and consider leaving the area until smoke clears or use an indoor air cleaner.

  • One to three miles, the air quality is unhealthy for everyone. Everyone should minimize strenuous outdoor activity and stay indoors whenever possible.

  • One mile or less, the air quality is very unhealthy to hazardous for everyone. Everyone should avoid all outdoor activities. Smoke sensitive groups may want to leave the affected area.

If people have additional concerns, they should contact the nearest local or regional public health agency for the latest in health conditions from smoke.

For more information:

Curry County Public Health: http://www.co.curry.or.us/departments/public_health/index.php

Curry Community Health: www.currych.org

Oregon Health Authority: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Preparedness/Prepare/Pages/PrepareForWildfire.aspx

Oregon Veterinary Medical Association: https://oregonvma.org/care-health/wildfire-smoke-animals

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