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Klamath County News Release: Forecast calls for better air quality over the weekend

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Weather forecasts and fire mop-up projections have Klamath County Public Health officials predicting slightly improved air quality over the weekend for the Klamath Basin.

The fires in Southwest Oregon and Northern California were expected to become active as the inversion layer lifted Friday morning, but winds are expected to clear out some residual smoke. Improvement in the air quality index is expected, but will likely remain unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as people with respiratory and cardiac conditions.

Temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-80s Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures can make the smoky conditions more uncomfortable. Knowing the range of air quality numbers can help people make good choices about outdoor activities.

The six levels of the air quality index are:

·         Good is 0 to 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

·         Moderate is 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people.

·         Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this range, people with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk.

·         Unhealthy is 151 to 200. Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.

·         Very Unhealthy is 201 to 300. This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.

·         Hazardous is greater than 300. This would trigger a health warning of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

Residents are encouraged to visit to learn the current air quality index.