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Statewide, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Jackson County Public Health officials are advising campers, outdoor recreation enthusiasts and schools that are having outdoor athletic practices to be aware of wildfire smoke around the communities of Shady Cove and Prospect, and around Crater Lake National Park.

The region has experienced air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups, including young children, the elderly and those with asthma. The northeast portion of the county is known for outdoor recreation, including camping, and it's important that people know air quality conditions before heading out for the weekend.

Smoke from several nearby wildfires may also cause poor air quality in and around Medford, though monitors have shown mostly moderate conditions in Medford.

While residents can view current air quality conditions at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi/ , Oregon's monitoring network does not capture air quality conditions in all communities. For this reason, it's important for residents to gauge air quality conditions where they live and take appropriate actions to protect themselves.

View guidance from the Oregon Health Authority on children and outdoor activities during periods of poor air quality: https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/le8815h.pdf

People can also 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.

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

Visit the Oregon Smoke Blog for more information: http://oregonsmoke.blogspot.com/

Contact:
Greg Svelund, DEQ, Public Affairs, 541-633-2008, svelund.greg@deq.state.or.us
Dr. Jim Shames, Jackson County Public Health, Health Officer, 541-774-7885

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Environment & Energy
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