Incident: Pole Creek Wildfire
Bend, Oregon September 13, 2012
SISTERS RESIDENTS ADVISED TO SHELTER IN PLACE
During Evening/Overnight Hours and Mornings
As of this evening, a voluntary health advisory has been put into affect by the Deschutes County Health Department until further notice for the community of Sisters. The advisory is a result of the hazardous air pollution created by the Pole Creek fire specifically in the evenings, through the night and into the mornings.
This health advisory directs residents of Sisters to take shelter in their homes in the evenings and overnight, and to secure buildings occupied in the mornings according to the guidelines below to protect themselves from wildfire smoke inhalation.
What is happening now:
1. DEQ air monitoring data shows hazardous air quality levels in the Sisters area due to the wildfire.
2. Deschutes County Health officials recommend all members of the community to discontinue outdoor activities in the evenings, overnight and mornings until conditions improve.
3. Being outside during these times of the day are particularly harmful to one's health due to the concentration of wildfire smoke in the air.
4. These recommendations will continue until further notice, pending weather forecasts (changing wind direction and temperatures) and the containment progress of the Pole Creek fire.
The American Red Cross has opened an aide station at the Sisters Elementary School gymnasium to provide a place for individuals to get out of the smoke in the Sisters area.
The aide station will be open from 8am to 8pm, through at least Monday evening. Snacks and water will be available as well as access to current fire information.
What does "Shelter in Place" mean
"Shelter-in-place" means to take shelter where you are-at home, work, school, or in between. In this case, it also means "seal the building;" in other words, take steps to prevent outside air from coming in. It is important to continue to monitor the news to understand whether health officials wish you to merely remain indoors or to take additional steps to protect yourself and your family.
1. Avoid smoke by staying indoors, closing and sealing all windows and doors. Use a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter. Turn air conditioning off, turn fans on inside your home. Locking windows may provide a tighter seal from the smoky air.
2. People with concerns about health issues, including those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions, should follow their breathing management plans; keep medications on hand, and contact healthcare providers if necessary.
3. Continue to monitor local news outlets; we will continue to provide updated information as we receive it.
What about masks
N-95 masks are the best masks to protect one's health, but require fit testing. Based on scientific data, surgical masks, bandanas and t-shirts worn as masks offer little to no protective.
For more information about preparing to shelter in place, and for mask information to prevent smoke inhalation, please visit http://public.health.oregon.gov/HealthyEnvironments/Documents/WildfireExposure final.pdf . ##
Deschutes County encourages persons with disabilities to participate in all programs and activities. This event/location is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need accommodations to make participation possible, or to request this information in an alternate format please contact Anna Johnson (see below).
Anna Johnson | Public Communications Coordinator
Deschutes County Administration1300 NW Wall St., Ste. 200 | Bend, Oregon 97701