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Breath of fresh air: Spokane residents get outside as the air quality clears

Spokane residents wasted no time getting outside once the air quality cleared up after a week of unhealthy and hazardous conditions.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash — A sense of normalcy returned to Manito Park in Spokane this weekend. As the air quality hit moderate, lots of residents headed out for a breath of fresh air.

Moderate air quality is not something people typically celebrate, but after the past week of hazardous air - Spokane is embracing their new score. 

"Yay!" exclaimed Bob Butler. "I won't be holed up in my cabin all day today, I'll be able to come out and I'll be able to take some pictures wander around read the air."

Butler enjoys spending time here at the park. He loves the beautiful scenery, friendly faces and normally the fresh air.

"It's been a challenge, and I've been staying inside a lot," he said. "I tried to get my 10,000 steps in like every other day, and that hasn't been happening for about a week or so." 

Not being able to go outside is making him feel anxious, he added.

So he is spending the day taking pictures, admiring the trees and just wandering around. 

Credit: Morgan Trau
Butler with IPad taking pictures

He is not the only person utilizing the nice day. Anna Wrisley and her family are holding a yard sale within walking distance to Mirror Pond. 

"We've had a ton of foot traffic," Wrisley said. "People who hadn't even heard about the yard sale but we're just walking by stopped in, so that was super great."

The family started the yard sale yesterday, but were not able to fully be involved due to the smoke.

"Yesterday was super bad. My grandma couldn't even be outside and that's a big factor," she said. "It's 50 years worth of stuff that my grandparents have collected living here."

Part of the reason why the air quality is getting better is due to the rain, which we've seen scattered across the South Hill. But the sun always shines after a storm.

"Let's let it rain for a while," said Butler. "Then clear the sky out and let's get some more beautiful Spokane sunshine.".