Smoke been getting to you?

Air quality guidance offered


Grant County Health District issued a guide on air quality as a result of smoke from fires in the region.

The guide issued by the Health District is based on one’s ability to see through smoke particles to a certain distance.

“During this time people with any respiratory or cardiovascular conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, other chronic lung diseases or heart disease should minimize outdoor activity to only necessary tasks,” the report stated.

On a developed chart with visibility 10 miles or more, there are no health risks.

For distances of visibility of 5-10 miles, unusually sensitive people should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Distances 3-5 miles, considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, people with heart or lung problems should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Distances of 1.5 to 3 miles, considered unhealthy and people with lung and heart problems should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

Distances of 1 to 1.5 miles is considered “very unhealthy” and people with heart and lung problems should avoid entirely outdoor activity.

For one mile or less, the chart states it is “hazardous” and everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors.

To determine the distance you can see in smoky conditions, face away from the sun and determine how far you can see in miles. The chart developed by the Health District takes it from there.

From the Star, Monday afternoon, looking up Lake Roosevelt from Pole Park it was estimated you could see for about five miles.

By Tuesday evening conditions had improved, but were expected to worsen again. The state Dept. of Ecology issued an Air Quality Alert that remains in effect until 5 p.m. Friday for most of Eastern Washington.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has issued a ban on all outdoor burning until Monday.

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