'Stay inside, keep windows closed. If you do go outside, it's helpful to wear a mask'

The Staley Fire is burning 23 miles south of Oakridge, the result of lightning August 9.As of Wednesday, the fire was 15 percent contained and had burned about 1,077 acres. (IMT)

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency issued an "unhealthy" air quality rating for Oakridge due to smoke from nearby wildfires.

Some residents in Oakridge say they are concerned about their health.

The Orchid Health Clinic said they have been getting concerned calls all week. Orion Falvey, co-founder of the clinic, said the elderly, infants and those with asthma are impacted the most by the smoke.

"It can be especially difficult for those patients but everyone out here can definitely feel the effects of the smoke," Falvey said. Falvey said there is not much you can do except to wait it out. "Stay inside, keep windows closed. If you do go outside, it's helpful to wear a mask."

"It bothers the eyes and breathing," said Oakridge resident Cheryl Casterline. Casterline is a caretaker for a 65-year-old woman. She said she has been stuck inside to avoid the smoke.

"She likes to sit out on her deck and enjoy the sounds of her creek, and can't of course," Casterline said.

The smoke is also stifling the summer recreation industry, the life line of Oakridge during the summer months. An employee at the Bike Shop says business has been slow this week. The Tesman family travelled to Oakridge from Klamath Falls. They said they were still up for the challenge.

"This was our week of planned mountain biking adventures so we're probably going to stick with it," said Linda Tesman.

Other visitors, like Mike Hume from Eugene, said they might have to cut their trips short.

"I'm hoping when I get up higher it won't be up there. That might be dreaming but we'll see," Hume said.

For now, all locals can do it hope the fire doesn't spread and wait for the skies to clear.

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