High temps, wildfire smoke lead to air pollution advisory - KPTV - FOX 12

High temps, wildfire smoke lead to air pollution advisory

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The combination of high temperatures brought on by Portland’s record heat wave and smoke from wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest and Canada have led officials to issue an air pollution advisory.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, along with the Southwest Clean Air Agency and Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, issued the advisory Wednesday afternoon for the Portland, Salem, Eugene and Medford areas in Oregon and the Vancouver area in Washington.

While the advisory for ground-level smog and wildfire smoke is expected to only run until next Tuesday, the continued high temperatures and active wildfires could lead to increased pollution and particulate matter levels in the air through next week.

Officials said that the smog levels are expected to move past levels deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in several parts of the Portland-Vancouver metro area.

Residents are advised to protect their health and asked to help improve air quality by taking steps like reducing pollution from cars, mowers, paint or aerosol cans. They are also asking commuters to consider using public transportation or carpooling instead of driving alone.

Other ways to help lower emission levels include avoiding unnecessary engine idling and refueling vehicles during cooler evening hours. Business can help by encouraging carpooling or allowing workers to telecommute.

Those sensitive to air pollution, like older adults, children or people suffering from asthma or lung diseases, are advised to limit outdoor activities, especially in the late afternoon and early evening hours when pollution levels peak.

People can see the latest air quality levels in Oregon at DEQ.State.OR.US. Residents in Washington can view Vancouver air quality levels at SWCleanAir.org, and Lane County residents can check LRAPA.org for the latest information.

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