Smoke in Ketchum

Smoke obscured the typical vista of Bald Mountain on Thursday morning. 

Smoke from wildfires throughout the west has made air "unhealthy" in south central Idaho, including the Wood River Valley, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality. 

The Air Quality Index (AQI) reading from the department's monitoring station at Ketchum's Ernest Hemingway STEAM School ticked up to 154 as of noon on Thursday. That reading is classified as "unhealthy" for all people and reflects more than three times the amount of particulate in the air as on Wednesday evening. 

Air at monitoring stations in Twin Falls, Paul and Pocatello also registered unhealthy readings. 

An AQI over 150 means even healthy people may begin to experience health effects, while those within sensitive groups—including seniors, children, and those with heart and lung issues—may begin to feel more severe effects. 

As always, small shifts in atmospheric conditions can result in big changes in air quality. For the most recent readings, click here.

Email the writer: mdee@mtexpress.com

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