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Inland Northwest Air Quality

Stagnant air causing health concerns in Salmon area

Idaho officials say air quality is in the unhealthy range in the east-central Idaho town of Salmon and surrounding area due to stagnant air that has elevated pollutant levels.

With the return of wild fire smoke to the Spokane area, sunset hill of Interstate 90 can barely be seen from the downtown area Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

‘Unhealthy’ air moves out

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 15, 2017, 4:17 p.m.

Better air moved into Spokane Friday after a polluted start. Air quality was rated “unhealthy” as of 7:15 a.m. by the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency. But it had improved into the “moderate” category as the day moved on.
The South Hill hospital district is seen through a pall of smoke Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 in Spokane. The wildfire smoke, which mostly abated over the past weekend, has returned to the Spokane area. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Smoky air returns to Spokane, likely to stay until the weekend

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 14, 2017, 7:40 p.m.

Light northeasterly winds are bringing Montana wildfire smoke back into the Inland Northwest. Until winds shift Saturday, it’s likely the skies will remain hazy and unhealthy for groups sensitive to poor air.

Blog Posts

Boise's ghostly skyline, barely visible from the foothills, as air quality hits unhealthy levels on Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017. (Betsy Z. Russell)

Boise air quality hits unhealthy levels due to wildfire smoke

Boise smells like a campfire this morning, as heavy, acrid smoke from wildfires descends on the city for another day; it’s been getting worse every day. According to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Boise’s air hit unhealthy levels this morning at 8 a.m., with...

Kaylah and Kiara Ukrainetz of Edmonton, Alberta swim on an inflatable Wednesday in Lake Coeur d’Alene. Hazy skies are due to a high volume of smoke in the air, and multiple public agencies are advising people to stay indoors as much as possible due to poor air quality. (Jake Parrish / Coeur d'Alene Press)

North Idaho air quality hits unhealthy levels

The air quality in North Idaho reached hazardous levels Wednesday due to smoke from multiple wildfires. According to AirNow, a government resource which provides daily Air Quality Index readings for more than 400 cities, conditions in Coeur d'Alene were unhealthy on Wednesday. That rating, determined...
Downtown Boise under a pall of smoke on Wednesday afternoon (Betsy Z. Russell photo)

DEQ issues rare statewide air quality advisory

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a rare statewide air quality advisory, with smoke from wildfires pushing air quality into at least the moderate to unhealthy range everywhere in the state, and in some areas near the north-central Idaho wildfires, into the “very...

Weather Service: Blame Siberia for last night’s red sunset…

Last night’s Boise sunset featured a sullenly glowing red sun, looking more like a Los Angeles sunset than an Idaho one. Here’s a news item from the Associated Press suggesting the cause was far-off fires in Khakassia, a region in southeastern Siberia: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)...
Smoke from a California wildfire fouls Boise sky on Thursday morning (Betsy Russell)

Smoke plume from California wildfire rolls into Boise, blankets valley

Foul-smelling smoke from a huge wildfire in northern California that's burned hundreds of homes and other structures rolled into Boise this morning, limiting visibility, diminishing air quality and staining the sky a brownish-grey. “With the way the jet stream’s going and the wind patterns, we...

Now’s your chance to comment on air quality standards

The public is invited to comment on proposed changes to state air quality standards for specific pollutants so they align with federal standards. The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking comments about incorporating the updated standards in Washington’s federally required State Implementation Plan. The plan...
Downtown Boise is partly obscured by wildfire smoke Monday afternoon (Betsy Russell)

Smoke socking in mountain valleys, H&W advises limiting outdoor activity

Yep, it's looking awfully smoky out in Boise, and now comes this word from the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare: Air quality in some parts of the central Idaho mountains has reached the "unhealthy" or "unhealthy for sensitive groups" level, and they're alerting people...

Statewide Stage 1 air quality alert issued…

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a statewide Stage 1 air quality alert, banning open burning all through the state. It's in effect through the weekend; conditions will be re-evaluated Monday morning on a county-by-county basis. The ban includes campfires, recreational, warming, weed...
Smoke from wildfires obscures the downtown Boise skyline on Thursday morning (Betsy Russell)

Treasure Valley air quality deteriorates…

Yuck. The sunrise was bright orange again, and now the sky is brown. Wildfire smoke is settling densely over the Treasure Valley, pushing air pollution levels up. Today's air quality is predicted to be in the "upper moderate" range, a range that stretches from 50...

After 11-day break, smoke pushes valley air quality out of good range again

Well, the Treasure Valley's break from the wildfire smoke lasted exactly 11 days, and then yesterday, smoke came pouring back in, this time from the opposite direction, the northwest. Air quality broke out of the "good" category into the "moderate" range yesterday, and that's where...

Air quality moves into unhealthy range, outdoor k.d. lang concert canceled

The Treasure Valley's air quality has gotten so bad - with an orange air quality alert issued by the state DEQ - that tonight's scheduled k.d. lang concert at the Eagle River Pavilion has been canceled. CTTouring announced the cancellation "due to the poor air...

No consensus on Idaho field-burning changes

Possible changes to Idaho's field-burning regulations still are up in the air after an advisory panel of farmers, health advocates and regulators agreed today that some weekend burning could be considered, but couldn't reach a consensus on whether to allow more burning when ozone pollution...

Guest Post: House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers

A lot of people tend to forget about the many benefits that can be given by a normal house plant. They have become more of an aesthetic than anything, and as a society we forget about the many functions that a plant has and how...

Audio


  • Ron Edgar, SRCAA / possible burn ban

    Ron Edgar, of the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency, talks about the possibility of a burn ban Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2009.

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