SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Smoke from regional wildfires continues to create unhealthy air conditions in the Spokane area Thursday for the second consecutive day and off and on for the last week. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Because conditions are not expected to improve significantly in the next several days, Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (Spokane Clean Air) has declared a Stage 1 Impaired Air Quality, which bans all outdoor burning (already banned by Governor's order) and the use of fireplaces and non-EPA certified wood burning stoves and fireplace inserts in the Smoke Control Zone.
"With our cool mornings and evenings, we have noticed some wood heating occurring. We urge residents to grab sweaters and blankets rather than fire-up their wood burning devices - we don't need to add anymore smoke to the air," added Woodard.
"We also want to remind everyone that all outdoor burning continues to be banned. This includes recreational fires, including patio-style fires such as fire bowls and chimneas."
Stagnant weather conditions and elevated fine particle pollution are the main factors for issuing the Stage 1 Impaired Air Quality, which will likely remain in place throughout the weekend and into next week, based on weather and air quality conditions.
The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases. Sensitive populations include children and people with heart and lung conditions who are advised to take precautions and consult with their personal physicians.
More information about the health effects of wildfire smoke is available from the Washington Department of Health by CLICKING HERE
Residents can learn more HERE
For current air quality in the Spokane-area, CLICK HERE