Wildfires and smoke can move quickly, and conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Know what's happening around you. Visit the Wildfire 2020 page to learn about the current situation.
- Get local alerts. Sign up for PublicAlerts so local emergency managers can send you evacuation alerts, air quality alerts, and other important info. You can also view current alerts to get info about road and school closures, power outages, etc.
- Get fire news. Check out InciWeb and the Wildfire and Weather Information Map. Get updates and forecasts by checking out resources in Oregon (Smoke Blog and Department of Forestry) and Washington (Smoke Blog and Department of Natural Resources).
- Connect. Use the tips on the Stay Informed page to connect with loved ones and get information about what's happening in your neighborhood.
- Be ready to go. Gather Supplies and know what to expect if Evacuation orders are issued.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SMOKE
Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Those Most at Risk
Follow your doctor’s recommendations and take extra steps to protect yourself.
- Infants and children. Familiarize yourself with guidance for parents, as well as state-specific guidance in Oregon (Español, Русский, 中文, Af Soomaali, Vietnamese) and Washington.
- Pregnant and nursing people. The CDC provides general disaster-related advice for pregnant and nursing people, as well as information specific to wildfire smoke.
- Older adults and those with medical conditions. People with COVID-19, heart disease, lung heart disease, and diabetes are particularly sensitive to smoke. Work with your doctor to create a plan to stay healthy.
Learn About the Air
Listen, watch, and pay attention to the Air Quality Index. It provides current info on how clean the air is and potential health risks.
- Oregon Air Quality Index (search Oregon Air in your app store)
- Washington Air Quality Monitoring
- Smoke Sense App
- AirNow Fire and Smoke Map
How to Stay Safe
- Avoid smoky air and keep indoor air clean. Close doors and windows, close the fresh air intake on your A/C and set it to recirculate, use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter, and/or go to a place with AC if it’s hot and smoky. If you can, create clean room.
- Do not add to indoor air pollution. Do not use anything that burns, such as candles, incense, fireplaces, cigarettes, or gas stoves. Avoid frying or broiling when cooking. Do not vacuum.
- Do not rely on masks or bandannas for protection. If an N95 respirator is properly worn, it can offer some protection from smoke. However, they are in short supply. Cloth face coverings can help prevent spread of COVID-19, but don’t protect against fine particulates in smoke. Avoid smoke by staying inside. Close windows and doors.
- Maintain healthy behaviors. Drink lots of water. Eat balanced meals. Don't smoke. Stretch and move your body indoors, but don't exert yourself too much. Listen to your body and contact a healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms of smoke irritation.
- Leave if necessary. If your home doesn't feel safe, seek shelter in a designated evacuation center or away from the affected area.
Smoke & COVID-19
Respiratory symptoms such as dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing are common to both wildfire smoke exposure and COVID-19. Use Oregon's online self assessment or contact your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms. Learn more about wildfire smoke and COVID-19.
When to Get Help
If you or someone you know is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Contact your health care provider if you experience symptoms of smoke exposure.
- Persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness or pain
- Heart palpitations
- Nausea or feeling lightheaded
- Unusual fatigue
More Wildfire & Smoke Health Information
- Washington State Department of Health
- Oregon Health Authority
- County Public Health Departments
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY
When buildings ignite during a wildfire, it's usually a result of embers or small flames. There are several steps that you can take to reduce the risk to your home or business.
Defend Your Home
Learn what actions you can take to reduce your risk of loss. If you own a home or business, learn how to prepare your home for wildfires (Cómo Preparar Su Casa Contra Incendios Forestales). Maintain defensible space around your home and use fire-resistant materials to harden your home. Last but not least, learn how to prepare for disasters & insurance claims.
KNOW WHEN TO GO
Understand Evacuation Orders
During an emergency, you may be asked to evacuate (leave your home). You may have hours or just minutes to get out. Pay attention to local alerts, and know what to expect if evacuation orders are issued. If you are evacuating due to wildfire:
- Cover up to protect against heat and flying embers.
- Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, heavy shoes/boots, cap, dry bandanna for face cover, and goggles or glasses.
- 100% cotton is preferable.
About 95% of all wildfires are caused by human activity. We need your help to prevent them. Check out California's One Less Spark campaign for more information.
Basics of Wildfire Prevention
- Obey local burn bans and only burn if you have a permit. View Oregon and Washington burn ban maps.
- Don't use a gas or electric lawnmower on dry weeds or grass.
- Properly dispose of cigarettes and matches.
- Avoid using any equipment that creates sparks.
- Be sure campfires and grills are completely put out.
- Don't let vehicle parts drag on the ground, including tow chains.
- Learn more at SmokeyBear.com.