KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) officials said this morning that the regional wildfires will affect the county’s air quality through Wednesday.

“DEQ’s release Sunday indicated smoke would be an issue for Northern Klamath County,” said KCPH Director Jennifer Little. “This morning, Chiloquin and Klamath Falls were in the unhealthy range.”

During periods of unhealthy air quality, there are simple steps to avoid exposure.

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, pregnant women, children and teens – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • Keep outdoor activities short.
  • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

Everyone else – take any of these steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard.
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors.
  • Be active outdoors when air quality is better.

“Depending upon wind direction, Klamath County can see smoke intrusion from the Southwest, West and Northwest,” said Little. “We encourage everyone to create a clean air space in their home.”

Reduce intake of smoke into your home. To keep indoor air clean and wildfire smoke from entering your home:

  • Close windows and doors when it is smoky outside. Track the air quality and open your windows for fresh air when the air quality improves.
  • Pay attention to heat and take steps to keep it cool indoors by closing curtains during daylight, using an air conditioner or fans. If it’s still too hot, open windows to avoid heat exhaustion and other heat illnesses.
  • Set air conditioners on recirculate to prevent intake of outside air. 
  • Turn off fans that vent to the outside, like the one in your bathroom. Exhaust fans pull outside air in through cracks around windows and doors.

Klamath County cleaner and cooler air spaces can be found at https://www.klamathcounty.org/1286/Cleaner-cooler-air-spaces or by calling 211.

There can be air quality changes from moment to moment. Check hourly air quality conditions at https://aqi.oregon.gov/ or https://www.airnow.gov/.