Fires: What You Need to Know About Air Quality

Klamath Falls, Ore.– High temperatures and area wild fires are creating a near dangerous air quality situation for the Klamath Basin. Winds are blowing toward the east, bringing the smoke with it, rather than moving it out of the area.

Jim Carrey with Klamath County Environmental Health says residents “We are seeing a rise in smoke levels right now, and we expect this to happen for at least the next couple of days.”

He says if you’re smelling or seeing smoke, you’re probably breathing smoke. He recommends that anyone with asthma or otherwise compromised breathing ability remain indoors as much as possible, preferably in a house with air conditioning. He said the filtration system on most air conditioners should be enough to filter out harmful particles. 

There are also indoor sources of pollution that you should try to avoid during these days when the Basin is full of smoke. Those include vacuuming, using a gas, wood, or propane stove, and burning candles. 

The Department of Environmental Quality also warns that paper masks may not do much to help protect you from smoke particles if you are asthmatic or having other health-related breathing problems. If you’re going to purchase a mask, look for an N95 mask, which will offer some protection. 

You can check the current Air Quality Index by clicking HERE. Find additional information HERE