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Fire and health officials warn of smoke inhalation dangers

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, poor air quality could lead to difficulty breathing, as well as throat and chest pain.

“We will be seeing more smoke in the area, just because of the way that the wind that is blowing and the existing wildfires that are burning both in Oregon and elsewhere,” said Cassandra Ulven with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. “Any breathing difficulties after they’ve been exposed to smoke, whether that’s from a cooking fire, or an outside fire, they’re not feeling well, we’re happy to come take a look. Make recommendations of follow-up treatments.”

The EPA also said some people are more at risk — a person with heart or lung disease, a pregnant woman, or a person with diabetes.

Health officials and firefighters said there are ways to protect yourself.

“Try and stay indoors with your windows and doors shut. If you do have an air conditioner or air purifier, make sure that the filter is clean,” said Dr. John Roberts, associate medical director with Family Health Center at Kaiser Permanente.

And officials said you can do your part not to add fuel to the fires.

“So, if you’re out and about, make sure your campfires are out before you leave,” said Alison Green, public affairs director of the Office of State Fire Marshal. “Folks that are driving, if you do pull over to the side of the road, make sure you’re not parking on top of dry grass.”

“Make sure that with tow chains, if you’re towing your boat or you’re doing something else fun this weekend, that you have all those chains nice and tight so that they don’t spark and create a fire on the roadway,” Ulven said.

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