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High Temperatures and Smoky Air Could Cause Health Problems

Press Release 

Date: August 01, 2014

Media Contact: Ramona Quinn/Jim Carey Phone: (541)-882-8846

High Temperatures and Smoky Air Could Cause Health Problems

Klamath Falls, Or. – Public Health officials urge Klamath County residents to take precautions to avoid health problems during hot, smoky conditions.

The combination of high temperatures and wildfire smoke in Klamath County may increase the risk of illness, especially for people with asthma, respiratory or heart conditions, older adults, and young children. Public health officials urge all residents, especially children, older adults and people with lung or heart disease to take the following precautions to avoid health problems:

·         Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors. This can usually provide some protection, especially in a tightly closed, air-conditioned house in which the air conditioner can be set to re-circulate air instead of bringing in outdoor air.

·         Reduce the amount of time engaged in vigorous outdoor physical activity. This can be an important and effective strategy to lower the amount of inhaled air pollutants and minimize health risks during a smoke event.

·         Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as burning cigarettes, gas, propane, wood burning stoves and furnaces, and activities such as cooking, burning candles and vacuuming.

·         Drink plenty of water or other non-alcohol or decaffeinated fluids to keep cool.

·         Individuals with lung disease or respiratory illnesses such as asthma should follow their health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.

Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

Smoke levels can rise and fall depending on weather factors including wind direction. Klamath County Public Health will continue to release information on our blog and Facebook page as smoke conditions change. Updates will be made daily.

For more information about air quality; how to protect your health during the forest fire season and how to protect your health when temperatures soar, visit the following website:

To learn how to use visibility to measure risk of health effects, visit the following website:

For other questions or concerns contact Klamath County Public Health’s Environmental Health department at 541-883-1122.