Salmon area issued a Purple Air Quality Alert

Salmon area issued a Purple Air Quality Alert

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by Natalie Podgorski

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:06 AM

BOISE -- The Yellow Air Quality Alert in effect for Monday in the Treasure Valley will continue Tuesday. KTVB's meteorology team says it probably won't improve much throughout the week.

The Department of Air Quality says this has been the worst summer in terms of smoke for at least the past three years, but the Treasure Valley isn't the only part of the state that is suffering from smokey air.

In Salmon, Idaho the air is so bad a Purple Air Quality Alert has been issued which means the air is very unhealthy and could trigger health problems for some. A Purple Air Quality Alert is a step above a Red Air Quality Alert and a step below a Maroon Air Quality Alert.

Sharon Osgood who owns Greyhouse Bed and Breakfast in town and says she feels the impacts.

"It has been smokey up here off and on for six weeks," said Osgood. "It looks like everybody has fires in their yards because the smoke is hanging in between the trees. It burns your eyes and it smells like you are standing over a campfire."

Osgood says her lungs aren't the only thing affected by the smoke from the Mustang Complex fire.

"We've lost a tremendous amount of business," said Osgood. Her bed and breakfast hasn't had any new reservations for weeks. In fact, recently she's had several cancellations. Osgood and her husband also own a fishing and rafting company, business on that side isn't any better. "Who would want to come here and have to wear a mask to try to fish?"

The American Lung Association says right now it is best if people in Salmon area and in the Treasure Valley try to limit their time outdoors.

"You know it is better to get a little out of shape temporarily than out of breath chronically," said Jan Flynn, Idaho Director of the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association says some of the side affects from spending a lot of time in this smoke can include shortness of breath or tightness in the chest.

"I've never experienced smoke like that before," said Flynn when refering to the air we've seen in the Treasure Valley this summer.

In August, the Treasure Valley only had eight green air quality days. We had 16 days of yellow air quality alerts which means the air has some pollutants and may bother certain people. Six days were orange alerts so the air was considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. August even had one red day when the air was considered unhealthy for everyone.
   
If you have concerns or want to talk to a registered nurse or respiratory specialist you can call the American Lung Association's free hotline at 1-800-LungUSA anyday of the week between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
 

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