Health authorities offer tips as wildfires create poor air quali - KPTV - FOX 12

Health authorities offer tips as wildfires create poor air quality in metro area

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People are being advised to stay inside as much as possible and avoid any strenuous outdoor activities as wildfires have created poor air quality throughout the metro area.

The Environmental Protection Agency listed the air quality as unhealthy to very unhealthy in and around Portland on Tuesday.

The Eagle Creek Fire has caused smoke to blanket the region and ash to fall from the sky.

The Oregon Health Authority said poor air quality from wildfires can cause health problems for people with lung or heart conditions, as well as children and the elderly.

Fine particles in smoke can also affect people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Clark County Public Health advised people on the roads to run their air conditioner on the recycle or recirculate modes to avoid drawing smoky air into a vehicle.

Closing up a home by shutting windows and doors can give some protection from smoke and ash. Most home air conditioners are designed by default to re-circulate indoor air. Systems that have both outdoor air and re-circulate settings need to be set on re-circulate to prevent smoke-laden air from being drawn into the home.

Vacuuming, except with HEPA filter-equipped vacuums, should be avoided, since most vacuums disperse fine dust into the air, according to Clark County Public Health.

FOX 12 meteorologists reported that conditions are set to improve around the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge, with temperatures also dropping in the Portland metro area.

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