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Air stagnation advisory issued for wildfire smoke

Sun., Sept. 16, 2012, 3:04 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued an air stagnation advisory for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area as well as for much of the upper Columbia Basin region of Washington.

A light northerly flow has helped push smoke out of the Spokane area this afternoon. The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency said that air quality went from moderately polluted back to the good category by this evening.

The agency is predicting that the smoke will intensify by Monday, sending the pollution readings to the unhealthy for sensitive groups category.

People with respiratory and other chronic health problems should limit activity and stay indoors, officials said.

Forecasters said smoke problems will worsen by tonight with areas of smoke expected to be evident through at least Friday.

Higher air pressure has settled across the region and is going to create a lid in the atmosphere, holding smoke at lower levels.

The air stagnation advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Highs are going to be in the lower to middle 80s through much of the week. Lows should be in the upper 40s.

It was 79 degrees at 3 p.m. at Spokane International Airport.

In Kittitas County, emergency managers have issued evacuation orders for rural areas near the Table Mountain Fire.

Fire officials said the Barker Canyon Fire in Douglas and Grant counties is almost 90 percent contained after burning 92,000 acres.

The Wenatchee River Complex Fire is 17 percent contained and has burned nearly 32,000 acres.

The Table Mountain Fire is 50 percent contained.

Smaller fires were burning in Okanogan, Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas counties.

In Idaho, the Sheep Fire near Riggins was at 30,000 acres with 24 percent containment.

The McGuire Fire Complex was at 32,000 acres but only 2 percent containment.

Numerous other fires are burning in Idaho.

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