Spokane air quality is now getting called hazardous by the Washington Department of Ecology Air Quality. Spokane residents are being urged to stay indoors as the fire smoke continues to roll through the region. The continued deterioration of the Spokane air quality has been taking place for the past few days, potentially leading to serious health effects for people spending too much time outside.

Throughout Monday (Sept. 4), the Spokane air quality has increased in how damaging it could be to people breathing it in.

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The day started with it getting called “unhealthy for sensitive groups” before that was upgraded to being “unhealthy” and then finally getting classified as “very unhealthy.” Now the Spokane air quality has reached the worst stage on this scale, receiving the classification of “hazardous” according to a breaking report by KREM 2 News. People should remain inside.

What does it mean if the air is considered hazardous?

As defined by the state air quality index, having hazardous air conditions means that it is an emergency situation and that “the entire population is more likely to be affected.” That is an escalation from having very unhealthy air conditions, which means “everyone may experience more serious health effects.” In these stages of deteriorating air conditions, it impacts everyone and not just those people who might already have breathing problems.

There are also fire particulates in the air and ash falling in the area that is unhealthy to breathe in.

The Spokane air quality ranks as the worst in Washington State, as it is getting impacted by fires within the state, as well as from Canada, Idaho, and Montana. Quite a few fires are running out-of-control in the region, with even more that have been corralled or extinguished. All of them have added to the issues of air quality, and the winds are bringing a sustained amount of smoke to the area.

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How long will this smoke problem persist?

It has been an extremely dry summer for the region, with rare instances of any precipitation. This has led to a situation where a lot of areas are at risk of forest and wild fires. Burn bans have been in effect for most of the summer as well, which has included banning and prohibiting all outdoor fires that aren’t pre-approved. Many people in the region are also worried that more fires could still be coming.

The Spokane air quality isn’t expected to improve during the immediate forecast, with the problem arising that kids are returning to schools on Tuesday (Sept.

5). Many schools will be faced with the prospect of keeping students indoors during recesses, as any prolonged exposure to this smoke could be hazardous and extremely unhealthy. Readers interested in checking out other local news may be interested in reading about the Spokane earthquake from earlier this summer or fresh news about the Seattle Seahawks.