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Smoke from California fires seeps into Rogue Valley

A slight haze has seeped into Medford skies, but you don’t need to worry about excessive air pollution just yet.

The air quality in Medford stood at healthy levels Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service, despite smoke moving over the region from California wildfires.

The Medford air quality index was at 35 Tuesday morning, which lies in the good air-pollution range. Moderate air quality — while acceptable but potentially unhealthy for people with respiratory illnesses — kicks in at 50.

Brett Lutz, a lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Medford, said the haze was from fires in Northern California. Jackson and Josephine counties should remain in the good range for the rest of the week, he said.

“It all depends on the wildfire situation,” Lutz said.

As long as fires do not spark in the northwest of the Rogue Valley, Lutz said, we will not have to worry about high levels of smoke choking the area.

At the same time last year, Medford was dealing with smoke from the Milepost 97 fire, which raised the air pollution level to moderate.

Reach reporting intern Hans Boyle at 971-201-0114 or hboyle@rosebudmeida.com.

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