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Unhealthy air quality in Spokane area expected through weekend

The relief from both the smoke and hot temperatures in the Spokane area is expected to come on Tuesday.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Air quality remains unhealthy in the Inland Northwest on Friday as wildfires continue to burn around the region.

The Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency is reporting air quality in the "unhealthy" range. In Coeur d’Alene, AirNow reports the air quality as “unhealthy.”

Unhealthy air quality means everyone may begin to experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Very unhealthy air quality means everyone may experience more serious health effects. Officials recommend people reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors and to take breaks during outdoor activities. Sensitive groups should avoid prolonged time outside. 

The poor air quality led the Salvation Army to cancel 'Movies in the Park.' The free event will resume on Aug. 20.

KREM 2’s Jeremy Lagoo said the upper atmospheric ridge bringing the heat and smoke to the region sticks around through Saturday. If it weren't for the smoke, it would be hot and sunny. However, the sinking air means the smoke settles down to the ground around us each day. That means you can expect more haze and reduced air quality in the coming days.  

The relief from both the smoke and hot temperatures will come on Tuesday. The jet stream will trough over western Canada and close to Washington which will push temperatures down to the upper 70s and should allow for air quality to improve by some margin. 

KREM 2's Thomas Patrick shared a satellite view of the wildfire smoke. He said the Schneider Springs fire in the Cascades is producing most of the new smoke.

A shift in the weather pattern arrives on Sunday. The initial shift isn't big and likely doesn't bring about any improvement in air quality. It's a push of monsoonal moisture from the south. Coming from the south, there just isn't enough moisture for a widespread rain event. We will also see smoke from fires burning to our south move in along with the small chance of rain.

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