Wallowa County Air’s mission Statement

Providing residents with air quality information and mitigation strategies for smoke intrusions, while continuing to improve our wildfire resiliency and natural resources in Wallowa County, Oregon.

Air quality differs depending on location, temperature, humidity, and other factors. PurpleAir® offers individual air quality readings in many locations including Wallowa County.

The deadline to submit an application is June 14, 2023.

Wallowa County Air is offering Free Air Purifiers to Wallowa County Residents

With the increased presence of smoke in Wallowa County during the summer months, providing clean indoor air spaces is becoming more important. We have a limited number of air purifiers, so priority will be given to households with: 

  • Adults over 65
  • Kinds under 15
  • Pregnant women
  • Members with respiratory or heart issues
  • Low-income households

If you are interested in applying for a FREE Air Purifier CLICK HERE, or scan the QR Code

PLEASE NOTE: Air purifiers being distributed were purchased thanks to and with funds from Oregon DEQ and Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation.

Wallowa County Air’s mission Statement

Providing residents with air quality information and mitigation strategies for smoke intrusions, while continuing to improve our wildfire resiliency and natural resources in Wallowa County, Oregon.

Health Threats from Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. 

Air Quality and School Athletics in Wallowa County, Oregon

Join Dan Moody Enterprise/Wallowa Cross Country Head Coach, Jenny Reinheardt Enterprise/Wallowa Assistant Cross Country Coach, and Student Athletes Maddie Nordtvedt, and Roan Flynn talking about outdoor student athletics and the implications of compromised air quality.

Know if you are at risk

  • If you have heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure, angina, COPD, emphysema, or asthma, you are at higher risk of having health problems from the smoke.
  • Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, possibly because they are more likely to have heart or lung diseases than younger people.
  • Children are more likely to be affected by health threats from smoke because their airways are still developing and because they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Children also are more likely to be active outdoors.

Recommendations for people with chronic diseases

Have an adequate supply of medication (more than five days).

If you have asthma, make sure you have a written asthma management plan.

If you have heart disease, check with your healthcare providers about precautions to take during smoke events.

If you plan to use a portable air cleaner, select a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or an electrostatic precipitator (ESP). Buy one that matches the room size specified by the manufacturer.

Call your healthcare provider if your condition gets worse when you are exposed to smoke.

Recommendations for everyone: Limit your exposure to smoke

Pay attention to local air quality reports.
Listen and watch for news or health warnings about smoke. Find out if your community provides reports about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI). Also, pay attention to public health messages about taking additional safety measures.

Refer to visibility guides if they are available.
Not every community has a monitor that measures the amount of particles that are in the air. In the Western part of the United States, some communities have guidelines to help people estimate the Air Quality Index (AQI) based on how far they can see.

If you are advised to stay indoors, keep indoor air as clean as possible.
Keep windows and doors closed unless it is extremely hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Running a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or an electro-static precipitator (ESP) can also help you keep your indoor air clean. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere.

Avoid adding to indoor pollution.
When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum, because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home. Do not smoke, because smoking puts even more pollution into the air.

If you must go outdoors, NIOSH-approved respirators may offer some protection.
Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke.

There are specialized masks that can help prevent smoke exposure called particulate respirators.  If you choose to wear a respirator, select a particulate respirator marked with the word “NIOSH”. If it has an “N”, “R” or “P” along with the number 95, 99, or 100 printed on it, it is appropriate to use. Users should select a respirator that fits well to ensure a protective seal around the face. For the most protection, learn how to put one on, properly position it on your face, and how to remove it.  It is important to know that these are not currently made in children’s sizes. People with pre-existing health conditions should speak with their healthcare provider prior to using a respirator. The wearer may find breathing more difficult, particularly for those with heart and lung conditions.

Oregon OSHA offers how-to videos in Spanish and English.

 

how wildfires in the wilderness are beneficial to the natural landscape

Join Brian Anderson, Wallowa Whitman National Forest – Wallowa Mountains Office District Ranger as he describes how wildfires in the wilderness are beneficial to the natural landscape. #DoubleCreekFire #SturgillNeboandGoatMountain2Fires 

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DISCLAIMER: The material contained on Wallowa county Air pages is for informational purposes only. The information is NOT intended to diagnose, treat or substitute for professional medical advice. Those with medical conditions or sensitivities to smoke should seek the advice of a licensed medical provider. If individuals need more information, they should consult a medical professional.

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Wallowa County Air