Friday, September 7, 2012

Smoky Conditions Due to White Salmon Fire

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With a major wildfire just east of us in White Salmon, Washington, smoke has been seen and is visible to a number of folks in the eastern side of Clark County. Smoky conditions are likely conditions until the fire goes out or the wind shifts.

The Highway 141 Fire is located along the east side of Hwy 141, approximately 2 miles north of White Salmon, Washington. The fire started at approximately 1:30pm on Wednesday, Sept. 5th. The fire is currently approximately 1,200 acres this morning and is considered to be 40% contained.

Current information on the status of this fire can be obtained here: 

Our community partners and Portland Fire & Rescue put out the following safety tips this morning that we thought we'd share with all of you:

There are a few simple actions you should consider that can minimize exposure to smoke that makes its way into a community. The extent of the precautions you take should reflect how heavy the smoke is, how long it lasts, and your health.
  • If you smell smoke and/or are beginning to experience symptoms, consider temporarily locating to another area as long as it is safe for you to do so. 
  • Seek out locations where air is filtered. For example, heading to the local mall, movie theater or recreation center can provide some temporary relief. Local health officials often can help locate places with better air quality during extended smoke episodes.  
  • Close windows and doors and stay indoors. However, do not close up your home tightly if it makes it dangerously warm inside. 
  • Only if they are filtered, run the air conditioning, the fan feature on your home heating system (with the heat turned off) or your evaporative cooler. Keep the outdoor air intake closed and be sure the filter is clean. Filtered air typically has less smoke than the air outdoors. Running these appliances if they are not filtered can make indoor smoke worse. 
  • If you have any HEPA room air filtration units, use them.
  • In smoky air, try to reduce your physical activity level. Avoid exercise or other strenuous activities in heavy smoke. If smoke is simply unpleasant or mildly irritating, changing the timing of a few activities may be all that is necessary. 
 If you are having difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1.

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