An air quality watch issued by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality is in effect due to elevated levels of smoke and wind-blown particulates in eastern parts of the county caused by wildfires.
Current air quality levels are classified as “good” in a recent PDEQ report.
If residents can smell smoke, they are breathing smoke, according to the Department of Environmental Quality. Individuals with heart conditions and respiratory concerns living near dust-prone locations are encouraged to take extra precautions. Officials recommend limiting strenuous activities and avoiding the outdoors when possible to reduce levels of exposure to particulates.
The Department of Environmental Quality defines particulate as specks of soot, dust and aerosols suspended in the air. They may come from cars, industry and wildfire smoke, or when dust storms kick up. The department monitors air pollution for 16 different sites and gives on the hour updates on current pollution levels.