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Health official: Put your air conditioner on 'recirculate'

(KCBY image)

COOS BAY, Ore. -- Many fleeing to the coast to escape smoky conditions in the valley are finding more of the same on the south coast.

The coast usually has the highest air quality in the state because of its proximity to the ocean.

But health officials say the Chetco and Horse Prairie fires have affected air quality in Coos County.

The greatest risk is to little children and those with pre-existing lung or heart conditions.

Health officials say the simplest approach is to minimize your exposure to the smoke.

"You're just trying to keep the smoke out, some will get in,” explains environmental health program manager Rick Hallmark. “If you have air conditioning, put it on the recirculation function instead of bringing more air in."

Hallmark says a few days of exposure won't cause chronic illness.

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