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Portland, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for Klamath County due to smoke from wildfires in Northern California.

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Friday, July 31. DEQ will continue to monitor smoke in this area.

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Check current conditions on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone.

The air quality monitor in Klamath Falls showed unhealthy, or red, air quality this morning, and the monitor in Chiloquin showed air quality that was unhealthy for sensitive groups, or orange.

Smoke can irritate people’s eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women, and people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions are most at risk.

Protect your health when smoke levels are high:
• Stay inside if possible. Keep windows and doors closed.
• Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
• Be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels.
• Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These can be portable filters or can be installed in indoor heating, ventilation, cooling and air purification systems.
• If you have heart or lung disease or asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice.

Cloth, dust and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 masks that are tested to ensure proper fit and that are worn correctly may provide protection. Otherwise, they might just provide a false sense of security. They are not recommended for strenuous activities and are in limited supply due to COVID-19 and are being reserved for healthcare professionals. Additional information on wildfire smoke and COVID-19 can be found on the Center for Disease Control webpage .

DEQ’s color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions and ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, seniors, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.

Media Contact:
DEQ: Lauren Wirtis, Public Affairs Specialist, Portland, 503-568-3295, wirtis.lauren@deq.state.or.us

Local Contacts:
Klamath County: Valeree Lane, Klamath County Public Health, vlane@klamathcounty.org

Klamath Tribes: Zak Jackson, Emergency Manager, 541-783-2219 Ext.184, Zakary.jackson@klamathtribes.com

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians: Pamela Gutman, Public Health Manager, 541-677-5512, Pgutman@cowcreek-nsn.gov

Coquille Indian Tribe: Derek Mollier, Emergency Management Coordinator, 541-808-4116, derekmollier@coquilletribe.org

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