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PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING: All of East Idaho under air quality advisories because of unhealthy air due to wildfires

August 26, 2018

Poor air quality due to wildfire smoke has caused the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to issue air quality advisories for every county in East Idaho.

The DEQ says the air quality in East Idaho will be unhealthy at times throughout this weekend and residents should stay indoors as much as possible, especially if they’re suffering from lung or heart ailments. Children and older adults will also be more susceptible to suffering health problems from the unhealthy air and should stay indoors.

It is rare to have every county in East Idaho under air quality advisories because normally advisories are only issued for a small number of counties at any given time, not entire regions. The advisories issued by the DEQ for East Idaho this weekend include nearly 20 counties.

Those counties are Bannock, Bonneville, Bingham, Bear Lake, Caribou, Power, Oneida, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison, Teton, Clark, Butte, Cassia, Lincoln, Blaine and Minidoka.

The advisories are in effect Saturday and Sunday and will be re-evaluated on Monday morning by DEQ to determine whether they should remain or be lifted.

The DEQ said the unhealthy air quality in East Idaho this weekend will impact even healthy individuals, so everyone should stay indoors as much as possible. People in sensitive groups — children, older adults and anyone suffering from lung or heart ailments — will experience even worse health impacts because of the poor air quality, the DEQ said.

Smoke from wildfires burning in and around Idaho has prompted the DEQ to issue air quality advisories throughout the past several days for East Idaho counties but until now those advisories have not covered the entire region.

South central Idaho and parts of the central Idaho mountains and north Idaho are also under DEQ air quality advisories because of wildfire smoke. These advisories include the Twin Falls, Jerome, Sun Valley, Hailey, Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry areas and will remain in effect Saturday through Monday morning, at which time they will be re-evaluated.

Residents in these areas should limit their time outdoors until the air quality advisories are lifted.

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