Air Quality Advisory Issued as Wildfire Smoke Blankets Region

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 15, 2018

Wildfires burning in the interior of the province are still cause for high concentrations of fine particulate matter in the air.

Health officials extended an air quality advisory Tuesday, a day after it was first issued over concerns about elevated levels of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

Conditions are expected to improve in the Portland metro area by Wednesday afternoon, though smoke will hover and haze will linger through the week, according to DEQ.

Air quality in Libby and Thompson Falls was listed as "unhealthy" while air quality in Columbia Falls and Kalispell was "unhealthy for sensitive groups" as of mid-morning.

In the meantime, people with chronic underlying medical conditions should take heed and postpone strenuous exercise.

Others have downloaded a new companion mobile app that quickly shows whether the air you're breathing is safe. Those include closing windows, running air conditioners on recirculation mode, avoiding driving and closing the windows when doing so and possibly wearing a N95 or N100 rated mask.

If your home isn't air-conditioned, you're being asked to consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

Symptoms can be mild, such as coughing and sinus irritation, but more serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat and chest pain also are possible.

Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. We are forecasting for GOOD to MODERATE air quality Wednesday and beyond.

Anders Molofy looks over the river valley as smoke from the B.C. wildfires rolls in over Edmonton on August 15, 2018.

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