rforce2003 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 8 11:28:45 PDT 2011
Courtesy of the Lewiston Morning Tribune:
Area can expect fire smoke to linger a bit
By ERIC BARKER of the Tribune | Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 12:00 am
A stubborn high pressure system sitting over the region will likely keep skies over north central Idaho and southeastern Washington smoky for the next several days.
"It should be here at least through Monday, if not even longer," said meteorologist Colby Neuman of the Spokane office the National Weather Service.
Winds out of the east and east-southeast funneled smoke northward Wednesday, said Amber Rand, acting air quality manager of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality at Lewiston. Fires contributing to the haze that was detected from Grangeville to Moscow likely include the Otter and East Fork fires burning in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area as well as the 27,000-acre Saddle Complex fires on the Salmon-Challis and Bitterroot national forests.
"It's probably a mix of all them," Rand said.
Neuman said fires burning near Mount Hood and in the Oregon Cascades also contributed to the smoky skies.
Until the high pressure system weakens, smoke and haze will continue to be present.
"In a scenario like this the wind up in the atmosphere where planes fly is relatively weak so you get of lot of stagnant conditions," Neuman said. "So if you have nearby fires there is generally not a lot of wind to move that smoke and disperse it out of the area."
Despite the smoke, Rand said air quality conditions remained in the good to moderate range throughout most of north central Idaho Wednesday. "People who are sensitive to smoke or particulates, they should probably limit outdoor activity," said Rand.
The Nez Perce Tribe issued a news release advising people sensitive to smoke to stay indoors as much as possible, set their air conditioners on recycle and to change or clean filters on air conditioners or furnaces frequently. Other steps to reduce irritation include avoiding heavy exercise or work outside, wearing a breathing mask when outside, keeping a five-day supply of medications on hand and drinking plenty of water to keep airways moist. People experiencing shortness of breath, uncontrolled coughing, sneezing, choking or chest discomfort are advised to seek medical attention.
Barker may be contacted at ebarker at lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2273.
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