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Students being kept inside because of smoke

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Air quality issues have prompted the Pocatello/Chubbuck, Blackfoot, Jefferson County and Idaho Falls School Districts to implement precautions for students.

The district said Wednesday students will be kept inside.  

Principals and administrators will continue to monitor air quality and follow activity guidelines established by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, they said. 

Idaho Falls and Pocatello are both considered to be in an "unhealthy" range Wednesday due to wildfire smoke. 

That means people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.  Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

The designation is expected to continue at least through Thursday.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is advising Idahoans to limit time outdoors as air quality worsens.

"Staying indoors is the best way to reduce exposure to smoke," said Colby Adams, environmental health director for the Department of Health and Welfare. "If you have to be outside, remember that surgical masks, bandanas, and dust masks do not reduce the amount of smoke you breathe. For a respirator to provide protection against small particles in smoke, it must be certified by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and fit with a tight seal around the mouth and nose. Respirators that provide protection from smoke particles also increase resistance to breathing, and their use should be limited to adults who are otherwise healthy. There are no respirators certified for use by children."

You can find additional air quality information here.

Additional health information is available here.

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