Simple tips to keep the smoky haze out of your home - KPTV - FOX 12

Simple tips to keep the smoky haze out of your home

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The smoky haze in Portland kept many people indoors Tuesday as the Department of Environment Quality warned the air quality was at unhealthy levels for everyone.

David Collier with DEQ says the wildfire smoke that poured down into the Portland metro area making conditions unhealthy is a fairly unusual event. He says it is more common in Eastern and Southern Oregon.

DEQ says the last time an event like this occurred was two years ago in Portland.

In August 2015, east winds pushed wildfire smoke from Eastern Oregon and Washington over the Cascades into the Willamette Valley. Similar health advisories were issued then.

Much of the smoke Thursday was pushed down from wildfires burning in Canada.

The Oregon Health Authority offered tips to keep people safe especially young kids, the elderly, and those with health problems.

They say to keep doors and windows closed and make sure the air conditioning is running. They also advise people to change air filters in your home or get a portable HEPA filter.

Dr. Aaron Burchfield, an Emergency Physician with Providence Medical Center, says wearing a face mask or bandana over your face might not do the trick.

“Wearing mask or bandanas, those can help for some of the larger particles,” Dr. Burchfield said. “The fine particles can still get into the lungs and cause inflammation and that's the problem.”

The National Weather Service and DEQ say the smoke will likely stick around for the next several days.

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