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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane air quality continues to improve

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 17, 2020

Smoke chokes downtown Spokane on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.  (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Smoke chokes downtown Spokane on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Air quality in Spokane continued its slow but gradual improvement Thursday after days in the “hazardous” category.

As of about 8 p.m., the current air quality index was 167, keeping the city in the “unhealthy” category after first getting there Wednesday night. “Unhealthy” means everyone may begin to experience health effects, while members of high-risk or sensitive groups could experience serious health effects, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.

The air quality index in Spokane fell into the unhealthy category late on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, for the first time since Saturday.
The air quality index in Spokane fell into the unhealthy category late on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, for the first time since Saturday.

The unhealthy range goes from 151 to 200 on the 500-point air quality index scale. The 24-hour air quality index Wednesday was “very unhealthy” at 215. Prior to this week, the highest 24-hour air quality index measured was 257 in 2018, also due to wildfire smoke.

A cold front forecast to move into the area over the weekend is expected to bring stronger winds and precipitation, which will likely help improve air quality, according to the National Weather Service in Spokane.

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