Health & News

How to Protect Yourself from Smoke

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Wildfires are burning throughout Oregon. The Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge is now causing smoky air in the Portland metro area and around the state.

Smoky air can cause health problems. You are more at risk for health problems if you have chronic long or heart conditions such as asthma or angina. Children and the elderly are also more at risk for health problems.

Here are some ways you can protect yourself and your family.

If you need resources or have any questions, call us at 503-222-2880. We're here to help.

Stay out of smoke as much as possible.

OHA gives these smoke-prevention tips:

  • Check the current local air quality conditions on DEQ’s website. Don't do outdoor activities when the air quality is unhealthy and hazardous.
  • Stay inside. Close as many windows and doors as possible without letting your home overheat. Use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter.
  • Don't do hard or strenuous activities outside when it is smoky. Don't play sports or exercise. 
  • If you have asthma or other respiratory or lung problems, follow your breathing management plans or contact your healthcare providers.

Wear a mask if you have the right one. 

Multnomah County says that the paper "dust" masks you can find at hardware stores will not protect your lungs from the small particles in smoke. You will need a respirator called an “N95” or “N100” mask. You can find these at some hardware stores. The tighter your "N95" or "N100" mask fits, the more you will be protected. If your mask does not fit correctly, you may get almost no protection. These tight-fitting masks can make it harder to breathe and can make you very hot. If you must work outside, you should talk to your boss about what to do.

Go to an emergency shelter if you need to leave your home.

Emergency Shelters

  • Cooling Centers or call 211
  • Mt. Hood Community College or Warrendale, Dodson evacuees 26000 SE Stark Street, Gresham, Oregon
  • Hedgewald Center, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, Washington.
  • Brookings Church of the Nazarene, 1600 Chetco Ave., Brookings, Oregon
  • Clackamas County Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, Oregon 97013 
  • Skamania County Fairgrounds, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive in Stevenson, Washington

Emergency Shelters for Pets

  • Meowhaus feline boarding and day spa, 5244 N.E. Sandy Blvd., Portland, Oregon, has offered 10 open rooms through the end of September to cats whose owners have been displaced by the fire.
  • Clackamas County Fairgrounds, 694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, Oregon 97013 
  • Multnomah County Animal Services is prioritizing emergency calls as the Eagle Creek Fire progresses. For animal-related emergencies, call 503-988-7387.

Levels of Evacuation

  • Level 1 = GET READY
    Pack your valuables including important documents (passports, birth certificates, insurance information, medications, medical equipment, and animals)
  • Level 2 = BE SET
    Monitor the news reports. Follow Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Multnomah County Emergency Management’s social media pages or local tv and radio news outlets.
  • Level 3 = GO
    Evacuate. You'll get details about where you can go to get information, resources, and support.

More Resources

Wildfire Smoke Safety Tips

Air Quality

Road Conditions

Wildfire Updates

Evacuation Information

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