The haze of wildfire smoke over Central Oregon created unhealthy air quality in Bend on Sunday morning.
Particulate matter of 2.5 microns measured 100.5 micrograms per cubic meter at the Bend Pump Station monitoring point at 9 a.m, according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality website. At the same time, Prineville measured 12.5 micrograms per cubic meter. The measurements put Bend's air quality squarely in the “unhealthy" category, above “moderate" and “unhealthy for sensitive groups."
However, Bend's air quality improved as the day progressed. Within three hours, it had been upgraded to moderate.
Nurses at St. Charles Bend and St. Charles Redmond said they knew of no patients who had sought emergency room treatment for respiratory distress or other smoke-related complaints.
Weather conditions can change the air quality in smoky skies in relatively little time, according to the DEQ.
As a result, the department distinguishes between overall air quality averaged over 24 hours and wildfire air quality measured hourly.
Monitoring stations in Bend, Sisters and Prineville showed moderate or good air quality between 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday, according to the DEQ website.