DEQ: Radiation from Mustang Complex Fire Posed Low Health Risk


Reuters reports the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality took air samples in northern Idaho to assess the effects of a former uranium mine burned during the Mustang Complex fire.

Mining sites with traces of uranium and thorium were scorched by the blaze, with smoke plumes containing elevated levels of radiation, but none that posed a risk to human health, according to DEQ.

However, the smoke did cause unhealthy air quality readings in the North Fork and Salmon areas, with health officials cautioning residents to stay indoors to avoid breathing in particulates.

This week, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter wrote in an opinion piece that the 2012 fire season alone was responsible for more air pollutants released into the atmosphere than all automobile and industrial sources in the state.