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News Release: DEQ expands air quality advisory to include Jackson, Josephine, portions of Lake

Medford, Ore.—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is again issuing an air quality advisory for Josephine, Jackson and Klamath counties. The northern portion of Lake County is also included in the advisory.

DEQ also has an air quality advisory in place for Curry and Klamath counties. All advisories are in place until further notice.

Southern Oregon saw some clearing earlier in the week, but smoke is expected to return to the Rogue Valley by this evening. While most monitors were reading good or moderate on Wednesday morning, monitors in Shady Cove and Cave Junction were reading unhealthy on Wednesday.

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. These residents are encouraged to stay indoors.
- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their healthcare providers.

The Oregon Smoke Blog also has an air quality map that includes temporary monitors close to specific fires, including ones in Brookings, Gold Beach, Agness, Cave Junction and Prospect. It also has daily smoke forecasts for specific areas, and other resources. Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information:

Local smoke levels can rise and fall rapidly. 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. 

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.