Smoke from Arizona wildfires may cause health problems

Ozone has been a major air pollutant here in the Valley for the last week, and will be again on Monday with another Ozone Health Watch issued by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

But now, smoke is also a concern with five wildfires burning north of the Valley.

The Gladiator Fire is burning near Crown King, between the Valley and Prescott, west of I-17.

The Sunflower Fire is burning west of highway 87, 20 miles south of Payson.

The Cherry Fire is just north of highway 169, in Dewey-Humboldt.

The Bull Flat Fire is near Fort Apache in the Tonto National Forest.

The Table Mesa Fire is near I-17 and Table Mesa Road, just north of the Valley.

All of these fires are sending smoke billowing into our atmosphere, which is clearly visible by satellite as well from many parts of the Valley with the naked eye.

This smoke is unhealthy to breathe and may cause you to cough.  It can also cause tightness in your chest, as well as stinging in your eyes, nose and throat.

Infants, children, older adults and people with chronic lung diseases are at the greatest risk.

If you live in areas affected by this smoke, stay inside.

If you need to go outside, use a dust mask or wrap a bandana around your face to cover your nose and mouth.

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