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Smoke from Milepost 97 Fire headed south toward Grants Pass, Medford

Winds are pushing smoke from the Milepost 97 Fire south toward the Grants Pass and Medford area.

Posted: Jul 26, 2019 9:04 AM
Updated: Jul 26, 2019 9:31 AM

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- Winds are continuing to push smoke from the Milepost 97 Fire south, toward the Grants Pass and Medford area. 

Overnight, about 100 firefighters worked on the Milepost 97 Fire. The Douglas Forest Protective Association gave three houses toward the southern end of the fire a level three evacuation order. That means the three houses in the 100-300 block of Ritchie Road have been evacuated. 

If you do need to move through the Canyonville area, you can still drive on I-5. The DFPA does say to drive carefully because firefighters and their equipment might be on the shoulders of I-5. Additionally, Exit 95 on the southbound side of I-5 is closed because of the fire. 

On Thursday morning, people living in Grants Pass could already see some of that smoke above the mountains. Doctors say there are two main ways to protect yourself from smoke. 

"Staying inside when it's smoky, that's the biggie," said Spencer Countiss, an internal medicine doctor at the Grants Pass Clinic. "There isn't a lot else you can do. People can wear masks. The masks people wear from hardware stores, those little blue ones, are of absolutely  no value and a complete waste of money. If you feel you need a mask, you need an N-95 mask with straps that go above and below your ears."

A couple of different groups should especially be careful of inhaling smoke, said Countiss. Those groups include the elderly, children, people with asthma and people with lung disease. 

One Grants Pass parent said she already has a plan to keep her 4-year-old daughter away from smoke.

"I do, especially since she's doing nebulizer treatments," Jessica Taylor, a mother of 4-year-old Justice, said. "I minimize her outside activities and I usually keep her indoors."

Check on the air quality in your area here: https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map

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