EUGENE, Ore. -- The air quality in Oregon has reached hazardous levels and officials are warning everyone to stay indoors as often as possible.
An employee with the Eugene VA reached out to KEZI 9 News by email and said that the building's smoke alarms went off early this morning, not because of a fire, but because of the sheer amount of smoke in the air outside.
"Our supply of filters is down to one-quarter of what it normally is out in the shop and we have people just coming in and of course the home improvement stores are just completely out of filters, you go in there and they're just completely wiped out off the shelves," said Lantz Ward, Account Manager with Comfort Flow Heating.
Today a representative with the Oregon Health Authority reported that 10% of all current emergency room visits are now from asthma or breathing-related issues.
"We recommend that you try to stay indoors. If you have an air filtration system try and keep your door shut. Keep the filtration system running to try and keep as much smoke out of the air as possible. If you have access to an N95 or greater mask if you do have to go outside try if it's properly fitted, try to wear the mask," said Dr. Margaret Pattison with RiverBend Hospital.
N95 masks are different from regular masks because they have five-layer filtration that removes 95% of dust particles, smoke, ash, and bacteria in the air that you inhale.
While the air quality is expected to improve, officials say it will remain hazardous for the next few days.