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December 20, 2014

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Health:

Air quality advisory issued as fires rage in neighboring states

Image

Steve Marcus

Smoke obscures the Stratosphere in this view from the MGM Grand parking garage Wednesday, May 23, 2012, when a fire in the Wellington area prompted Clark County to issued an air quality advisory.

With active wildfires in three states, the Clark County Department of Air Quality is monitoring increasing smoke and ground-level ozone in the valley and has issued an advisory for the weekend.

The advisory was issued Friday, will remain in effect through Saturday and could possibly be extended into next week, according to a Department of Air Quality statement.

There are active wildfires in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

Also, with the Fourth of July holiday approaching, air quality officials are concerned about additional smoke in some neighborhoods caused by fireworks. The smoke from fireworks can contain small particles and other pollutants that can be inhaled and aggravate respiratory diseases.

Pollution levels frequently increase around Independence Day, according to the Department of Air Quality, and when there is little wind to move the pollutants, the amount of smoke has reached unhealthy levels.

Air Quality officials continuously monitor conditions and will post alerts on the forecast page of the department website if unhealthy levels are reached. Currently, air pollution has not reached an unhealthy level in the valley.

High pressure and increasing temperatures, which are both expected this weekend, also contribute to higher levels of ozone. High levels of smoke, air pollution and ground-level ozone can cause breathing and respiratory problems, especially in children, the elderly and people with respiratory diseases.

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