KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Smoke intrusion from regional wildfires continues to create hazardous air quality concerns in Klamath County. County residents should take precautions to avoid health problems.
The Department of Environmental Quality reported air quality as very unhealthy and hazardous earlier in the week.
Residents can visit https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map to learn the current air quality index. Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. The six levels of health concern and what they mean 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. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150. Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
- 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 warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
Air quality and weather conditions can vary dramatically during wildfires. Conditions can change hourly.
The combination of wildfire smoke and high temperatures in Klamath County may increase the risk of illness. Public Health officials encourage all residents, especially those at increased risk, to take the following precautions:
- Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors.
- Keep indoor locations tightly closed. If you have air conditioner, set it to re‐circulate air instead of bringing in outdoor air.
- Reduce other sources of indoor air pollution such as burning cigarettes, gas, propane and wood burning stoves and furnaces, and activities such as cooking, burning candles and vacuuming.
- Drink plenty of water, or other non‐alcohol or decaffeinated fluids, to keep cool.
- Individuals with respiratory issues should follow their health care provider’s advice about prevention and treatment of symptoms.
Press release provided from the Klamath County Public Health.