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By Pinal County

The Pinal County Air Quality Department (PCAQD) is issuing an air quality advisory due to the potential for elevated particulates associated with smoke from a wildland fire on State land in the area southeast of Coolidge.

Fire officials are working on the containment of the wildland fire, but smoke and elevated particulates are expected to remain in the area throughout the weekend.  The Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD) encourages individuals to limit outdoor activities during periods of smoke since individuals with heart and respiratory disease, children, pregnant women and the elderly are vulnerable to smoke exposure. Healthy people can also be affected by smoke. Staying indoors as much as possible along with keeping windows and doors closed can help reduce the exposure to particulate matter associated with the smoke.

Particulate matter contains tiny solid particles and liquid droplets which are suspended in the air that we breathe. Small particles in smoke can travel into the respiratory system and cause short-term health effects including eye and respiratory tract irritation and even more serious problems including reduced lung function, coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, aggravation of asthma, heart failure and premature death.