Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
The Pacific Northwest is famous for its incredible forests, ecosystems with incredible biodiversity that also serve as an irreplaceable asset for reducing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Fires are a natural part of forest health, yet the smoky air that results can harm human lungs. Experts agree that 2020 will likely be an intense fire season at a time when respiratory health is even more important because of COVID.
Health professionals statewide are working hard to care for Oregonians affected by COVID-19. We are already seeing a correlation between exposure to air pollution and vulnerability to the respiratory symptoms caused by the virus. By taking proactive steps now, we can reduce the impact of wildfire smoke on respiratory health statewide and improve people’s resilience to COVID-19. The Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board has already made funds available for fighting fires, but not for protections from wildfire smoke.
Thank you for taking action to protect respiratory health and invest in wildfire resilience.