Rising smoke causes drop in air quality

As smoke from growing wildfires drifts into the Rogue Valley, air quality has suffered.

Monitoring stations in Medford and Shady Cove report that the amount of small particles in the air has reached levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The air-quality index value topped 101 in Medford around noon and had climbed to 118 in Shady Cove. Values higher than 101 are unlikely to harm most people, but people with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk, according to AirNow.gov, a website developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental agencies to provide information about air quality.

Shady Cove's air quality had climbed back to a moderate level by 1 p.m.

Cave Junction and a monitoring station at Parkside Elementary School in Grants Pass had reached air-quality index values of 175 or higher by shortly after 1 p.m. Values higher than 151 are considered unhealthy for everyone.

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