The future of air quality and wildfire smoke in Oregon

“I’ll count to three this time and we’ll clap after three, ok? One. Two. Three…”

Dylan Darling and Lauren Wirtis simultaneously clap into their microphones – a trick that makes it easier to align their separate recordings. You know in movies when the person says “take six!” and then snap the clapper board shut? Same thing.

This is how Dylan and Lauren begin each recording of DEQ’s GreenState Podcast. For their first episode, they took on an ambitious three-part series called Where There’s Smoke. The series is about the past, present and future of air quality in Oregon, especially as it relates to wildfire smoke. To make this happen, the podcast duo interviewed 11 people from six different state and federal agencies.

This is the third and final episode, which examines the future of smoke and air quality in Oregon and what actions local, state and federal agencies are taking to solve a problem growing worse with each passing year.

“But,” Lauren announces into the microphone. “The good news is state agencies across Oregon are working hard to address this issue.”

The episode focuses on air quality research, expanding the monitoring network and the programs initiated by the 2021 Oregon Legislature to protect public health and manage forests differently. As agencies learn more about the impact of wildfire smoke on air quality and, therefore, public health, they’re also building relationships and creating plans at the local level to ensure better communications with residents.

They end the podcast with these four key takeaways:

  1. Wildfire prevention is smoke prevention.
  2. We all need to start getting smoke ready.
  3. Make your resources easy to access.
  4. Share your knowledge with others.

To learn more about what DEQ is doing about the future of air quality and these takeaways, check out the third episode of the GreenState podcast. Available through SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

“This podcast is a really meaningful project to me,” Dylan says. “It’s a new way to get important information to Oregonians, let them know how DEQ is working for them, and it’s just fun.”

Published by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

DEQ’s mission is to be a leader in restoring, maintaining and enhancing the quality of Oregon’s air, land and water.

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