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Air Quality is at Orange in the Treasure Valley- Is This Bad?

Summer sky sunset.
credit: Thinkstock

We don’t talk much about the air we breathe until it’s air we don’t want to breathe.¬†From best to worst, the colors go: GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, PURPLE. We’re at ORANGE. Here’s what that means and why we shouldn’t completely panic.¬†

The air quality in the Treasure Valley is deteriorating, according to health officials. It’s all caused by the smoke from wildfires filling the skies with haze. Ugh. The alert is more of a focus for those who are considered “sensitive groups”. If you can stay inside and not choose to do the intense activities outside, it’s advised.


No open burning right now and this is the time when carpooling is a great idea.



I see the alerts for air quality and the colors change but I honestly don’t know what they mean. Call me clueless but it’s just not something I’ve looked into. I just trust that the information I’m hearing is true and I move along. Until now. Here’s the scoop.


When the air quality is at orange, the weather conditions are typically in the 80’s and 90’s. We’re above that temperature-wise but the rest of the factors match what’s happening here in the Treasure Valley so health officials opted for orange. We have light winds and there is a chance of thunderstorms. Remember last week when we had rain for a hot second? I just wanted to say that.


It’s advised we limit daytime driving and idling in our vehicles (outside of the regular stoplight idling). We should refuel our cars and trucks after dusk.

Health Effects:

We should keep an eye on active children and adults. People with respiratory disease (i.e. asthma) should limit outdoor exertion.

For all air quality colors, alerts and what goes into each category, take a peek at the USDA website.

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