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News Release: Air quality advisory in place for Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties, portions of Lake County

With wildfire smoke continuing to impact a large portion of Southwest Oregon, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is extending an air quality advisory for Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties and portions of Lake County including Lakeview.

Air quality is expected to be a concern at least through the weekend.

At 8 a.m. on Thursday, air quality was unhealthy in Lakeview, Klamath Falls, Shady Cove and Prospect. While conditions were moderate on Thursday morning in a number of other places including Medford and Ashland, periods of unhealthy air are forecast. By later in the morning, those levels had risen to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Remember, local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly, depending on weather factors including wind direction.

Residents can view current air quality conditions at DEQ’s Air Quality Index The index is also available on smart phones. Simply search for OregonAir in your app store. The Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information:
The color-coded Air Quality Index ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate, which is unhealthy for extremely sensitive groups. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

People can take the following precautions:

- Be aware of smoke concentrations in your area and avoid the places with highest concentrations.

- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions.

- If you have heart disease, asthma or other respiratory ailments, or are over 65, you have a higher risk of illness from wildfire smoke.

- Small children and pregnant women are also at increased risk. People in any of these groups might consider leaving the area until air quality improves.

- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.

Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities so it is important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

Contact: DEQ: Katherine Benenati, Public Affairs Specialist, Eugene, 541-600-6119,
Jackson County: Tanya Phillips, Jackson County Public Health, 541-770-7708,
Josephine County: Michael Weber, Public Health Director, 541-474-5339,