Slide Fire update: Air quality in unhealthy range in Sedona due to wildfire

PHOENIX - If you’re headed up to the Sedona area for Memorial Day, be forewarned that the air quality is in the “unhealthy” range.

An Arizona Department of Environment Quality report shows that air quality for the Slide Fire ranges from moderate to hazardous in communities around the fire.

Air quality in Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Flagstaff are all in the moderate range for Sunday. On Monday, air quality will be in the good range for Cottonwood.

However, Sedona’s air quality is listed in the unhealthy range for Sunday and Monday, meaning that residents and visitors in the area may experience more serious health effects.

The report advises the following groups should avoid all outdoor activities: people with heart or lung disease and children and older adults. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

Authorities say breezy winds that are forecasted into Monday could push smoke south and east of the Slide Fire.

Areas of Interstate 17 may be impacted throughout the day, with chances of moderate impacts in the areas of Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, Rim Rock, Camp Verde and the lower Verde Valley overnight into the early morning hours.

According to the report, while cooler temperatures and higher humidity is good for slowing the fire, it also hampers ventilation, keeping smoke in the area.

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