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Smoke from California wildfires moving in to Oregon

The Lava wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, it was caused by lightning on Friday June 25.
The Lava wildfire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, it was caused by lightning on Friday June 25.

Smoke from the wildfires burning in Northern California is moving into Oregon.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an air quality advisory for the Lakeview and Klamath Falls areas for at least the next several days. The smoke is coming from the 17,000-acre Lava Fire in Siskiyou County and from the Salt Fire north of Redding that started Wednesday.

Smoke levels and locations can change rapidly, depending on the weather. The DEQ recommends keeping an eye on the air quality index in your area.

Wildfire smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs, and worsen some medical conditions. People it impacts most include infants and young children, people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and pregnant women.

When smoke levels are high in your area, protect yourself and your family by staying inside as much as possible, with the windows and doors closed.

Use an indoor air filter if you have one, or you can create one with a 20″ x 20″ HEPA furnace filter and a box fan.

If you have to be outside, avoid strenuous activity. If you have heart or lung disease, or asthma, follow your health care provider’s advice.

Back in September, almost all of Oregon was covered in thick layers of unhealthy smoke. Researchers and health experts told OPB that having such high levels of smoke for so many people was unprecedented. In most of the West Coast, the air was not safe to breathe.

OPB put together a guide to some of the most common questions we received about the health impacts of wildfire smoke, what the air quality index means, how to stay safe, and how it all intersected with the coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting