As smoke moves out, dust moves in

SPOKANE, Wash --- The smoke might be leaving, but that does not mean the air quality will get better.

The air in Eastern Washington is some of the worst in the nation. Spokane has an Air Quality Index of 156, which puts it in the unhealthy range. This means anyone could begin feeling the effects of the smoke on their health, especially people with respiratory or heart issues.

Colville has slightly worse air quality than Spokane, with an Air Quality Index of 158. Omak is classified as unhealthy for sensitive groups, with the AQI at 139.

Starting Saturday afternoon, southwest winds will start to carry the smoke north, cutting us off from the smoke traveling down from the Canadian fires.

People have been sharing photos of the smoky skies with KREM on social media. The smoke is expected to clear out Saturday and Sunday, officials said the AQI may not change. Dust storms might pick up over the weekend, which factors into the AQI. Winds from the southwest could carry Oregon smoke to us, but it will not bring the AQI numbers down to normal.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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