TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Smoke from two wildfires southwest of Tucson are causing hazy skies and an increase in airborne particles, according to the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality.
Air monitors continue to show that air quality remains in the ‘good’ or ‘moderate’ range, depending on wind direction- however areas in Southern Arizona outside of the Pima County air monitoring system could be experiencing higher pollution levels.
“Currently, the monitoring sites closest to the fires are the only ones recording periodic elevated pollution levels, but that could change if the fires continue over a long period of time,” said Beth Gorman, PDEQ Senior Program Manager.
“Some people downwind of the fire may smell smoke over the coming days. We encourage those who are very sensitive to air pollution to stay inside or reduce exercise when outside, if smoke is present in their neighborhood.”
The two wildfires currently playing into this air pollution are the Encinos Fire and the Espinosa Fire, south of Arivaca, AZ.
PDEQ says this wildfire smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning plants and other items. The smoke can irritate people’s eyes, affect the respiratory system and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.