DEQ declares statewide air quality alert; all outdoor burning prohibited
Friday, September 21, 2012
BOISE — Smoke impacts from wildfires and poor atmospheric conditions have prompted the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to issue a statewide Stage 1 air quality alert, invoking a ban on all outdoor burning.
This advisory is in effect through the weekend until Monday morning where conditions will be evaluated on a county-by-county basis.
The advisory does not apply to lands within Indian reservation boundaries.
“Air quality is generally in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups to Unhealthy categories throughout the central and southern parts of the state,” said DEQ’s Smoke Management Program Coordinator Mary Anderson. “Air quality in the northern Idaho Panhandle is forecasted to be in the good to moderate range; however, stagnant conditions will likely cause smoke from open burning to remain at ground level.”
“Areas may experience some clearing, but generally, smoke will remain throughout the weekend,” she said.
Under a Stage 1 alert, open burning is prohibited. This includes, but not limited to, campfires, recreational, warming, weed control, cooking, and residential fires.
Daily updates on air quality conditions at various locations in Idaho are available on DEQ's Air Quality Reports and Forecasts and Current Wildfire Smoke Information webpages. For areas where air quality monitors are not available, the Visibility Range and AQI Table can help determine the necessary precautions to take.
For information on how to avoid unnecessary exposure to wildfire smoke, visit the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's website.