Gas Mask Anyone?

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It should come as no surprise to those of you who noticed the sickly haze hanging over the valley this morning that we have an air quality problem.

The City of Boise issued a burn ban this morning, outlawing all open burning and wood burning within the city. A similar ban was enacted last week when the combination of an inversion, spring field burning and heavy vehicle traffic caused air quality levels to plummet.

Open burning bans are automatically triggered when the air quality index reaches 60, and wood burning bans begin when the AQI hits 74. As of Wednesday morning the AQI in the Treasure Valley had reached 95, and is expected to hit 100.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality recommends several steps to help improve air quality across the valley, including; limiting the amount of time vehicles idle; using bikes, public transportation or carpools and, you guessed it, not burning.

To check on the current AQI, call the IDEQ’s hotline at 373-0313 or visit the Web site.

To report violations of the burn ban, call 384-3828.

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