CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF WARM SPRINGS -- The Simnasho Fire forced the closure of Highway 26 for more than an hour Friday, as it quickly grew to around 300 acres. The Northwest Interagency Dispatch Center reports it's burning in timber and brush, about 16 miles northwest of the town of Warm Springs.
Oregon's DEQ also issued the following air quality alert for Warm Springs and Jefferson County:
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory Saturday for the following areas:
- The Warm Springs Reservation and Jefferson County, particularly near Madras, due to smoke from the Simnasho Fire.
- Josephine County, particularly near Cave Junction, due to smoke from the Flat Fire.
DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Monday, July 24. DEQ and partner agencies will continue to monitor smoke in the areas.
Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant people.
Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high:
- Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed. If it’s too hot, run air conditioning on recirculate or consider moving to a cooler location.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions.
- Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
- When air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out homes and businesses.
- If you have a breathing plan for a medical condition, be sure to follow it and keep any needed medications refilled.
Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly selected and worn. Select a NIOSH-approved respirator with a N, R or P alongside the number 95, 99 or 100. Learn how to put on and use a respirator. Respirators won’t work for children as they don’t come in children’s sizes. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their health care provider before wearing a respirator.
photo courtesy of Twitter user @marcjwebber