Experts recommend limiting outdoor activity to avoid exposure to smoke

LEWISTON, ID - The air quality in the Valley has many people concerned about going outside.

"Right now we are in the unhealthy range," said The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Manager Amber Rand.

Folks in the LC Valley only have to step outside to notice how bad the air quality in our region is. Rand said we're experiencing a lot of smoke for several reasons.

"Several wildfires in the region, mostly to the South and Southeast of us," said Rand. "The air is kind of blowing into the region, and impacting the valley locations as well as the prairie."

The average index value in the Valley over the last 24 hours is calculated at 138. This means we're sitting at an unhealthy range of smoke.

"Things are just kind of settling down, and we're seeing elevated particulate concentration," said Rand.

For some groups, particularly the elderly, young children and those with pre-existing health conditions should be very cautious when going outside.

"At this point it could be hazardous for all people, so definitely reduce your outdoor exposure to the smoke," said Rand.

Dr. Luke Pluto at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center mirrors what Rand said, advising everyone to limit outdoor activity.

"It can be irritating to anyone with respiratory conditions at all," said Pluto. "The smoke is irritating to the bronchial tube, to the sinuses, to the eyes and so they just need to stay indoors."

"We have another high pressure system coming in by late Sunday, early Monday so we're going to see the conditions persist throughout the beginning of next week possibly throughout next week," said Rand.

It's important to face away from the sun as well to avoid hurting your eyes.

If you'd like more information on the air quality conditions, go to