Two of Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency’s monitors are down for repairs, but five others are still providing a comprehensive look at how smoke from wildfires across the region is affecting local air quality, officials said.
Air quality was ranked at “moderate” Tuesday, based on measurements of fine particles, which is the pollutant associated with the smoke, said Margee Chambers, an agency spokeswoman.
The five monitoring stations that remain in operation across Spokane County are in Spokane, north Spokane, Colbert, Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake. The monitor at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge has been sent back to the manufacturer for an upgrade, and the Airway Heights monitor is awaiting a replacement part.
The Panhandle Health District and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued a wildfire smoke advisory Tuesday for Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties.
Air quality in North Idaho is categorized as “moderate” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Older adults, pregnant women, children and those with pre-existing respiratory issues or heart disease are often more affected by these conditions.
Residents are advised to avoid heavy work or exercise outdoors; set air-conditioning units and car vent systems to recirculate; use portable air purifiers to remove particles in spaces without air conditioning; limit time outdoors, especially if they have respiratory conditions or heart disease; drink plenty of water; seek medical treatment for uncontrolled coughing, wheezing, choking or difficulty breathing.
For real-time air quality information:
Spokane County: spokanecleanair.org/current-air-quality
North Idaho: http://airquality.deq.idaho.gov
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