Nearby fires prompt air quality alerts for Whitman and Latah counties

Via the DNews

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality forecast and caution to Latah County residents Thursday in response to dozens of wildfires in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Canada that have covered the Palouse in a haze of smoke this week.

Though air quality for Latah County is currently categorized at moderate, DEQ air quality analyst Melissa Rhein said conditions could deteriorate rapidly based on fire activity and winds in the coming days.

“We’re not anticipating it getting anywhere near the hazardous categories at this point,” Rhein said.

Smoke is expected to linger in the county through Saturday and Sunday, with relief expected Monday, Rhein said.

An air quality alert from the Washington Department of Ecology is in effect for Whitman County until noon Saturday.