SPOKANE-- Smoke from regional wildfires continued to affect air quality in the Inland Northwest Monday.
Calm winds combined with above average temperatures have created stagnant conditions across our area trapping smoke across the Inland Northwest.
Spokane Regional Clear Air Agency reported moderate air quality around Spokane. Unusually sensitive people are encouraged to reduce prolonged and heavy exertion,
Spokane Clean Air declared a Stage 1 Impaired Air Quality Thursday. Stage 1 prohibits all outdoor burning and the use of fireplaces, non-EPA certified wood stoves and fireplace inserts. The ban includes all fire extinguisher training and fire fighting instruction fires.
Residents in Eastern Washington experienced air quality “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as the elderly, very young children and people with breathing difficulties, heart disease or lung disease according to the Washington Department of Ecology.
The biggest health threat comes from the fine particles in smoke. These can cause burning eyes, runny nose, bronchitis and other illnesses. Smoky air also can aggravate heart and lung diseases, and even lead to death according to the Washington Department of Ecology.
Weather systems over the weekend in Eastern Washington caused some dispersion and didn’t set off new wildfires, but transported some smoke from central Idaho wildfires further west into Washington.
Areas of North Idaho reported moderate air quality. Kootenai County, Silver Valley, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, and St. Maries all reporter moderate air quality. Unusually sensitive people were asked to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
No open outdoor burning was allowed by Idaho state air quality rule.
The stable and dry upper level high pressure ridge continued to dominate northern Idaho weather, little change in weather pattern was expected over the area Monday according to the Department of Environmental Quality. Concentrations of fine particulate remained elevated in most areas due to wildfire smoke.