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 much of our region this week. Air quality could be very bad at times in the days ahead.
An Air Quality Advisory continues for Southern Oregon until Noon Friday with air quality impacts also expected in Northern California during this time too.
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 10:30 AM Monday, September 21st:
-- 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.
Josephine County Public Health issued the following important notes on the use of respirators, such as N95 masks:
• Recognize that although they may filter out some fine particulate, they do not provide adequate protection from high concentrations of smoke and hazardous gases.
• Should only be used when fitted and trained by a qualified individual.
• Individuals with lung or heart disease, sufferers of chronic illness, or have ongoing breathing problems should consult their healthcare provider before using these devices due to potential complications.
• Due to inadequate sizing and protection these devices should NOT be used on young children.