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00000171-95d3-d2cb-a5f3-9fff6ded0000 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)

Wildfires Impact Air Quality Again

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Geoffrey Riley/JPR News
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The fires aren't that large, but there are many of them.

Smoke from the July 15th lightning fires is having an impact on the region's air quality.  It's a typical situation, just earlier than usual in the year.  Medford, Shady Cove, and Klamath Falls all showed smoke levels into the "Unhealthy" range at various times of the day Wednesday.  But breezy conditions alternately scoured out the smoke and brought in more.

By 6 PM, Medford was back in the "Unhealthy" zone, while the air in Ashland and Klamath Falls fell into the "Moderate" range.  Shady Cove reported "Good" air.

The breezy conditions figure to cause concerns for firefighters.  The forecast for the area of the Hendrix fire, in the mountains southwest of Ashland, called for daytime wind gusts up to 22 MPH, with evening gusts up to 34 MPH.

The National Weather Service office in Medford issued an air quality alert through 11 AM Thursday, warning that air issues could continue for the foreseeable future.

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.