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Air Quality Watch issued for localized residual smoke - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Air Quality Watch issued for localized residual smoke

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TUCSON - Due to potentially elevated levels of smoke in certain areas, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Air Quality Watch for Metro Tucson.

Although current levels of particulates report in the “Moderate” range on PDEQ’s air quality monitors, the presence of smoke can be highly localized and might not be captured by the monitors. According to sources, the fires causing the majority of the smoke have been extinguished, but there may be a residual of smoke in certain parts of the valley.

This mainly impacts the east side of Metro Tucson.

PDEQ encourages at-risk individuals to be cautious and understand that if they can smell smoke, they are breathing smoke. If individuals with heart disease and respiratory sensitivities are near the fires or smell smoke they may want to reduce their level of exposure and exertion and avoid outside exercise to decrease the amount of particulates they breathe into their lungs.

Particulate matter is made up of tiny specks of soot, dust, and aerosols that are suspended in the air we breathe. Particulate matter can come from combustion (cars, industry, wildfire and fireplace smoke) and dust from disturbed land that becomes airborne with high winds. PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 16 air quality monitoring sites. Up-to-the-hour air pollution levels are available online at the PDEQ website.

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