What’s Up With All That Smoke? Answers From the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD) and Partners
Wildfires remain active throughout Oregon and Northern California. The fires with the potential to impact our area (depending on conditions) continue to be the Klondike/Taylor and Natchez Fire (Southern Oregon), Carr and Hirz Fire (Shasta/Eastern Trinity County), and the Mendocino Complex (Lake/Mendocino County).
Humboldt & Del Norte
Inland Humboldt and Del Norte County will continue to see increased smoke impacts from the fires. River drainages will continue to see increased smoke impacts due to inversion conditions. Air quality conditions in the drainages are expected to be “Moderate” to “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”. Orleans and Hoopa may experience extended periods of “Unhealthy” depending on conditions.
Smoke from the Oregon fires will continue to make its way along the Coast where conditions can range of “Good” to “Moderate” with periods of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”. Smoke from the Mendocino Complex is expected to make its way northward into the inland areas where conditions can range from “Good” to “Moderate” with periods of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” depending on location.
Air quality conditions for Weaverville, Lewiston, and Eastern Trinity County are forecast to be primarily “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” with periods of “Unhealthy” conditions depending on proximity.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5) monitors are presently in Crescent City, Gasquet, Klamath, Weitchpec, Orleans, Hoopa, Eureka, Weaverville, Lewiston, and Garberville. Updates will be provided as conditions change. For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).
Fire information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or at www.calfire.ca.gov. Current weather information can be found at www.wrh.noaa.gov.
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp
coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
• Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change
the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use
the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at
For further information, visit the District’s website at