Hot and Smoky Labor Day Weekend

High Temperatures and Smoky Air Could Cause Health Problems  

NEWPORT, Ore. –  County public health officials urge people across the state to take precautions as temperatures and air quality reach potentially unhealthy levels.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch and Fire Weather Watch for most of Oregon.  The central coast should have clear air, but the warnings start not far inland.  They are predicting weather that could bring prolonged wildfire smoke exposure to communities in throughout Oregon. Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction.

“Many families are traveling inland on Labor Day weekend.  The combination of high temperatures and wildfire smoke may increase the risk of illness, especially for older adults, young children, and people with asthma, respiratory, or heart conditions,” said Rebecca Austen, Public Health Director.

Public health officials urge all Oregonians to take the following precautions to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions.

  • Know the signs of heat related illness.  Drink plenty of water and avoid afternoon outdoor activities.
  • Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area. Residents can get the latest information by visiting the Oregon Smoke blog: Oregonsmoke.blogspot.com or call 2-1-1 Info.    
  • Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous.  Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable.
  • Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or protecting yourself by staying indoors, closing all windows and doors.
  • Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as burning cigarettes and candles; using gas, propane, and wood burning stoves and furnaces; cooking; and vacuuming.
  • Individuals with heart disease or lung diseases such as asthma should follow their health care providers’ advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

For more information:

Heat Related Illness, know how to prevent illness and what signs to look for

Oregon Smoke blog, for the latest on wildfire smoke and air quality across the state.

National Weather Service – Portland, for current watches and warnings