SPOKANE, Wash. — Air quality as of Friday night was in the "Unhealthy" category in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area, and will likely waver between that and the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category throughout the weekend. Currently, the smoke is coming from wildfires burning in North Idaho and Northwest Montana, and easterly and northeasterly winds are pushing that smoke into Eastern Washington. Little improvement is expected until we see a wind shift early next week.
On Thursday night, parts of Washington state had some of the worst air quality in the entire world. Chelan, Wenatchee and the Methow Valley reached hazardous criteria due to wildfire smoke in the region. Multiple large wildfires north of region were the primary source of the smoke.
A breezy northerly wind funneled smoke from the Parks Fire burning along the United States and Canadian borders in the Cascades into the western Columbia Basin. The smoke was thick enough that the air quality index climbed to levels not currently able to be registered. The AQI of more than 500 means every person should stay indoors and limit exposure to unfiltered air.
An AQI above 100 typically means those sensitive to drops in air quality should limit time outdoors. Above 200, all people should limit exposure and above 300, the air becomes dangerous to breathe for everyone.
To check the current air quality in your area, click here.
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