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Check here for information on fires in our region. You can also check out these resources:Northwest Interagency Coordination CenterSWOFIRE: Oregon Department of Forestry, SW regionCalFire: Current Fire InformationInciWeb: Incident Information SystemOregon Smoke Blog: Smoke informationSouth Central Oregon Fire Management Cooperative (Klamath/Lake Counties & Crater Lake)

Smoky Air Prompts Oregon Warning

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

A buildup of smoky air from wildfires prompted Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality to issue a warning for several parts of the state on Tuesday (Aug. 18).

DEQ urged residents in much of Oregon to take precautions to limit their exposure to the smoke.

Smoke from fires built up to unhealthy levels in southwest, central, eastern, and northeastern parts of the state.  And forecasts predict a smoke buildup for the Columbia Gorge later in the week.

DEQ offers smoke-monitoring information at its Air Quality Index page on the web, but points out that monitors are not present in all communities... so just checking the nearest place on the map might not give an accurate indication of air quality.

Health officials recommend staying indoors when the smoke is especially thick, and curtailing physical activity when smoke is present.

As of 4 PM Tuesday, the air quality reading for Medford stood in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range.  The story was much worse in parts of Northern California, where monitors in Hayfork, Willow Creek, Hoopa and other sites near Trinity County fires registered in the "hazardous" range.

Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.