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Wildfires up Phoenix air pollution

18 May 2012 08:11

Wildfires blew smoke pollution into Phoenix

Wildfires blew smoke pollution into Phoenix

Pollution levels were raised to Health Watch status around tourist hotspots in Arizona after smoke from wildfires was blown into the Phoenix area.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) said the same-day Health Watch alert for fine Particulate Matter-2.5 had been issued after smoke from the Sunflower fire south of Payson was blown by northerly winds into the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The alert was in place until Tuesday and also concerned smoke from the Gladiator fire near Crown King moving towards the area.

Due to prevailing winds, places such as Cave Creek and Humboldt Mountain were due to bear the brunt of high ozone problems, said the ADEQ, making medical travel insurance a must for those with conditions such as asthma visiting the area.

In a statement ADEQ said an Ozone Health Watch had been extended into Tuesday, adding that five area ozone monitors had registered unhealthy concentrations on Sunday.

But the body added that ozone levels were forecast to fall slightly in most parts of the metropolitan area from Tuesday.