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After people light fires, ADEQ issues health watch for Nogales

After people light fires, ADEQ issues health watch for Nogales

By Taylor Higgins. CREATED Dec 23, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - People are lighting fires to try to stay warm, but it has lead to a health watch  for parts of Southern Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued a health watch for areas in and around Nogales, Ariz., for Tuesday, Dec. 24 and possibly Wednesday, Dec. 25.

The health watch was issued as a result of a smoke that is trapped in the atmosphere, emitted from holiday-related wood burning, which caused concentrations of fine participles, commonly known as soot, to approach unhealthy levels.

A health watch means that the concentration of soot may approach the federal health standard for this pollutant. Unusually sensitive people, such as people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children, should reduce prolonged activity or heavy exertion outdoors.

Nogales-area residents should use the following tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:

• Do not burn wood or wax logs in a fireplace, wood stove or any outdoor wood burning appliance.

• Limit driving: car pool, combine trips, use public transportation.

• Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads, using off-highway vehicles and leaf blowers.

• Stabilize loose soils.