Observer staff

Due to wildfire smoke, the air quality readings Thursday for the La Grande area are “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and “unhealthy” for the Cove area, according to a Center for Human Development news release.

The Center for Human Development Public Health is urging community members in the Grande Ronde Valley and surrounding communities to take precautions for protecting their health.

Wildfire smoke in the affected area may increase the risk of illness, the release said. This is especially true for older adults and young children. It is also very true for people with asthma, respiratory or heart conditions. Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous. Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable. These people should stay indoors while smoke levels are high. If smoke levels are expected to remain high for more than two days, they might consider leaving the area until air quality improves. Others can avoid smoke by staying indoors with windows and doors closed.

If you have heart disease or lung disease, such as asthma, follow your health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Be aware of the level of health risk posed by area wildfire smoke. The Oregon Health Authority has developed a fact sheet titled “Public Health Guidance for School Outdoor Activities During Wildfire Events” which is accessible on the Oregon Smoke Blog. To get the latest air quality information and health advisories visit the Oregon Smoke blog at .