The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality announced late Monday what most people in the Treasure Valley already knew: The air quality is lousy, as smoke from regional wildfires continues to blanket the Boise metro area.
But the DEQ took it a step further, issuing a rare orange air quality alert for Tuesday, Aug. 13, with an AQI forecast of 120, meaning the air quality is expected to deteriorate further and be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including people with respiratory illness or heart disease, the elderly and children. Those sensitive to particulate matter, ozone and/or smoke are encouraged to limit outdoor activity. It's also recommended that all other individuals limit prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity.
The DEQ recommends that residents car pool or use mass transit, avoid idling their vehicles, delay fueling vehicles until late in the day and reduce the use of gasoline-powered equipment until late in the day.
The National Weather Service forecasts for smoky days and nights until at least Wednesday evening, Aug. 14. Daytime highs will be in the low 90s and overnight lows will be in the low 60s.