The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued a yellow air quality alert for the Treasure Valley starting Tuesday as hot weather has boosted ozone levels, officials said yesterday.
“We saw ozone kind of jump today based on the really warm temperatures,” Mike Toole of the DEQ’s Boise office said Monday. With the forecast for continued hot weather this week, “we’re anticipating it to stay high,” he said.
A yellow alert means that air quality can impact more sensitive populations such as children, the elderly, and people with lung and heart conditions. Besides rising ozone, a typical summer pollutant, Toole also noted some smoke from area wildfires in Owyhee County and Oregon.
Tuesday’s forecasted Air Quality Index is 70. All open outdoor burning is prohibited in Ada County and the cities within, and in the incorporated cities within Canyon County, when the AQI reaches 60 or above.
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The weather is expected to stay warm this week, with high temperatures in the mid-90s through Wednesday before a slight drop Thursday..
To help reduce air pollution, DEQ recommends limiting driving and idling of vehicles and use of gas-powered equipment, such as lawn mowers.