Lane County Public Health addresses local smoke impacts

Public health officials presented information to Lane County Commissioners about the issues caused by smoke in the area.

Posted: Aug. 28, 2018 6:32 PM
Updated: Aug. 28, 2018 6:32 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the smoke in our area and the Terwilliger Fire possibly bringing more, health officials want to keep people safe.

In a meeting with Lane County Commissioners, health officials discussed the need for people who are sensitive to smoky air to find areas like movie theaters, malls and air-conditioned public buildings that will have "cleaner" air.

Lane County Preparedness Coordinator Selene Jaramillo also advises people to try to get air filters for their homes.

"If the temperature goes down, we can't really say 'turn on your A/C' anymore," Jaramillo said. "So, you really want alternatives like an actual HEPA filtering, fine particulate matter-type air filter."

If you can't afford to purchase one, Lane County Public Health has a link on their website that shows you how you can build your own.

With the information presented, Commissioner Jay Bozievich said their goal now is to condense it down to easily-accessible and understandable information and get that out to the public in a timely manner.

"General population health impact -- that's not making news -- and I think that's part of our job, maybe as part of United Front and other efforts," Bozievich said. "We need to try and raise the level of the health impact of this, not just the tourism dollar impact. There's more than tourists that are impacted by this smoke."

Commissioners said they plan to revisit this issue three to four times every year to make sure they can address potential smoke problems before they happen.

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