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Air Quality Advisory – Klamath Reservation

Date: October 20, 2023

Contact: Ken Smith, Public Relations Director; 541-783-2219 ext. 147

CHILOQUIN, Ore. – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with the Klamath Tribes, issued an air quality advisory on the Klamath Reservation due to increases in particulate matter from wildland smoke. This advisory is effective immediately and will continue until noon this Sunday. The current advisory is due to smoke draining into the area from a controlled burn. on approximately 1,500 acres in the Winema National Forest, the Forest Service is conducting Northeast Chiloquin off Williamson River Hwy. With poor ventilation and light and variable winds, smoke may remain in the area through Sunday.

The EPA requests that residents reduce all additional sources of air pollution as much as possible. Sensitive people should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible. If pollution levels increase, the EPA recommends that all residents restrict activity. Find links to more information on the EPA Tribal Smoke Resources website. To check conditions in your area, visit the EPA AirNow website. For a list of current burn bans on tribal lands, call the EPA Federal Air Rules for Reservations Hotline at 1-800-424- 4372 or visit the FARR website. Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on the weather.

Check current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, DEQ’s Air Quality Index, or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on your smartphone. Smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions. People most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and pregnant women.

Protect yourself and your family when smoke levels are high: stay inside if possible; keep windows and doors closed; avoid strenuous outdoor activity; use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers. Or create your own air purifying filter by following these instructions: be aware of smoke in your area and avoid places with the highest levels; if you have heart or lung disease or asthma, follow your healthcare provider’s advice. Please call 911 if you experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, or any emergent event. Cloth, dust, and surgical masks don’t protect from the harmful particles in smoke. N95 or P100 respirators approved by NIOSH may offer protection, but they must be properly fitted and worn. They won’t work for everyone, especially children. People with heart or lung conditions should consult their doctor before wearing a respirator.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Klamath Tribes Emergency Manager Rachelle Escatel @ 541-783-2219 ext.184 or work cell (541-576-4002.