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Wildfires spark air quality warnings throughout Idaho

Air quality throughout Idaho has become unhealthy thanks to wildfire smoke settling in from the Pacific Northwest.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality on Sept. 5 issued very unhealthy alerts, or purple air quality warnings, in Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties.

DEQ said at those levels everyone should limit their time outdoors if possible, especially people with respiratory issues.

Meanwhile, air quality in Boise was at unhealthy levels for sensitive groups. Officials said active children and adults, and people with asthma or lung disease should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

Smoke from several large wildfires burning in Idaho, Montana and British Columbia since the week of August 28 triggered the advisories. According to the National Weather Service, the wind is pushing smoke from three different directions and exacerbating the problem.

Forecasters expect the smoke to stay for several days.

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