The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality said the Treasure Valley's air quality alert improved slightly Friday afternoon, prompting the DEQ to move its designation to an orange quality air alert. People with sensitive breathing conditions, particularly the very young and elderly, are cautioned to heed the warning.
ORIGINAL POST: August 21, 2015 9 a.m.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has taken the rare step of issuing a statewide air quality advisory, saying wildfires currently raging in nearly every corner of the state are pushing too much smoke into too many people's lungs.
All open burning, including campfires, residential burning and weed control burning, is prohibited. The DEQ's air quality forecast for today has placed the Treasure Valley in a red alert (unhealthy). Young children, older adults and those suffering from heart or lung disease could be most vulnerable to the poor conditions.
Despite the smoky conditions, thousands of fans are expected to sit in Albertsons Stadium this evening to watch dozens of players huff and puff their way through the Boise State Broncos fall scrimmage, which is open to the public. Admission is free.
There's plenty at stake, as the Broncos saw significant turnover in the off season. Of particular note is the competition to become the new quarterback for the team that USA Today is predicting to be the fifth best in the nation.
Boise State opens its season two weeks from tonight, when it hosts the University of Washington in front of a nationally televised audience. It will also see the return of ex-Boise State Coach Chris Petersen, who is now at the helm of the Huskies.
Meanwhile, Treasure Valley schools say they're constantly checking with the DEQ on air quality before making any plans for athletics. KTVB-TV reports Eagle High School canceled its cross country practice Aug. 20 and the high-school football team only did a quick walk-through on Thursday before heading indoors. Additionally, they said the girls soccer team might need to reschedule or even cancel a soccer game scheduled for this evening.