Coping with unhealthy air quality in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Smoke from wildfires has been causing serious air quality problems in the Klamath Basin for nearly a month now.

Skies over Klamath Falls were actually a little clearer Wednesday – but conditions are still unhealthy.

“We’ve had smoke into the basin since the early part of July.”  Notes Ramona Quinn of Klamath County Public Health.  “And it has been over 300 a couple times.”

Sonya Stanley is one of those wearing a mask to help filter out the smoke.

We asked Stanley if she felt the mask was helping.  “Yeah, I feel like it helps a lot when I’m outside, for sure.”

But Valeree Lane of Public Health cautions the masks provide only limited protection.  “A mask is not going to necessarily protect them from the particulate in the air – the particulates are fairly small.”

“The mask can work if they’re properly fitted.”  Adds Ramona Quinn, adding:  “We currently don’t know of any masks that will fit younger children, people with a beard, people with a mustache.”

The Klamath Basin Senior Center is proving to be a popular location for those wanting to get out of the smoke, and the heat.

“Come here for clean air, cool air, make this your oasis.”  Invites Senior Center Executive Director Marc Kane.  “And so people are starting to take us up on that.”

The center has also seen a rise in the number of seniors requesting meals on wheels.


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