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Jackson County Health & Human Services
140 S. Holly Street • Medford, Oregon 97501
Jackson County is an area where wildfire risk is high. It is important to take steps now to prepare for wildfire season, which brings wildfire smoke into our area. Being prepared for fire and smoke season is especially important for the health of children, older adults, pregnant women and for people with chronic health conditions that include heart and lung disease.
Before a Wildfire
If any family member has heart or lung disease, including asthma, check with your doctor about what you should do during smoke events. Have a plan to manage your condition.
Stock up so you don’t have to go out when it’s smoky. Have several days of medications on hand. Buy groceries that do not need to be refrigerated or cooked because cooking can add to indoor air pollution.
Create a “clean room” in your home. Choose a room with no fireplace and as few windows and doors as possible, such as a bedroom. Use a portable air cleaner in the room.
Buy a portable air cleaner before there is a smoke event. Make sure it has high efficiency HEPA filters and it is the right size for the room. Change your current filters before the season.
Know how you will get alerts and health warnings, including air quality reports, public service announcements (PSAs), and social media warning you about high free risk or an active fire.
Ask an air conditioning professional what kind of high efficiency filters to use in your home’s system and how to close the fresh-air intake if your central air system or room air conditioner has one.
If you use a NIOSH N95 or P100 respirators it is important to learn how to use them. They are sold at many home improvement stores and online. It is important to know that these respirators or masks are not a good tool for everyone. It is important to talk with your medical provider if you have heart and respiratory health conditions and these are not made to fit children's faces. Because these masks are being used by the general public without fit testing, it is important to know they may not provide full protection and it is important to use other effective methods, including staying indoors, reducing activity, and using HEPA air cleaners indoors to reduce overall smoke exposure. Another option that should be considered for sensitive individuals is temporary relocation out of the smoky area if possible.
Organize your important items ahead of time, including financial and personal documents. Know your evacuation routes and where to go if you have to evacuate. Make sure to prepare your children, and consider your pets when making an evacuation plan.
Keeping Your Indoor Air Quality Clean:
Multnomah County: Video on how to keep your indoor air cleaner
Learn about home air cleaners from EPA
Find Certified Air Cleaning Devices
Oregon Health Authority: information on reducing health effects of wildfire and more
Use of Respirators (NIOSH N95 or P100)
Using a NIOSH N95 or P100 Respirator
Ashland Smoke Wise website
Staying Informed during Wildfire Smoke Event
Oregon Smoke Blog: will provide air advisories and smoke forecasting. All health department and DEQ press releases will be posted here
Oregon DEQ Air Quality Index: provides hourly air quality PM2.5 levels
Download Oregon DEQ OregonAir mobile app search “OregonAir” on your phones App Store
Jackson County Health and Human Services Facebook Page
Jackson County Health and Human Services Website
EPA Smoke Sense Mobile App. This is a citizen science project with information on current air quality from wildfire smoke.
Health and Human Services Administration
Read about our policies and notice regarding Americans with Disabilities