MEDFORD, Ore. — Several wildfires across Oregon and California, including locally, are contributing to periods of thick smoke and haze. The wildfire smoke will continue to impact parts of the region this week.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory on Thursday for central, eastern, and southern Oregon, plus parts of the Oregon Cascades, due to unhealthy levels of smoke from fires in both Oregon and Northern California.
Jackson, Klamath, and Lake counties are expected to be under an air quality advisory until at least Monday afternoon. To the east, Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties could be under the advisory until at least Saturday morning. The eastern portions of Douglas, Lane, Linn, and Marion counties may also continue through Monday afternoon, depending on nearby fire activity.
"Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on weather. Thunderstorms are in recent forecasts, which may bring lightning or rain and either add to or lessen fire activity," DEQ said.
Be sure to stay up to date on air quality with StormWatch 12. To check air quality readings in real time, you can check out a map of locations here.
Air Quality Readings as of 12 p.m. on Thursday, September 9:
-- HAZARDOUS --
-- VERY UNHEALTHY --
-- UNHEALTHY --
-- UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS (UFSG) --
-- MODERATE --
-- GOOD --
According to DEQ, pollutants in smoke can cause burning eyes, runny nose, aggravate heart and lung diseases and aggravate other serious health conditions. Limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky. Consult a doctor and follow medical advice if you have a heart or lung condition.
Health officials advise people to refill inhalers and air out homes and businesses when smoke levels improve to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index).