COEUR d'ALENE - The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality today plans to lift a burn ban for the state's five northern counties.
Ralph Paul, airshed coordinator for the DEQ in Coeur d'Alene, said Tuesday the ban has been in place to hold air-quality conditions within what's classified as the "good" range, where no health precautions are necessary.
For North Idaho, the National Weather Service has had an air stagnation advisory in place for about a week.
Paul said the Weather Service is likely to drop that advisory today.
"In general, air quality in Coeur d'Alene has been good," Paul said.
Robin Fox, a meteorologist for the Weather Service in Spokane, said a high-pressure system with light winds and low clouds provided the right conditions for air stagnation.
She said the high pressure will weaken today and a front will be moving in, bringing an end to the stagnant conditions.
"That's going to allow more mixing in the atmosphere," Fox said.
She said winds will be kicking up in the afternoon and snow is likely as well.
In its forecast for today, the DEQ said it expected air quality to be in the "moderate" range around Pinehurst in the Silver Valley and in the St. Maries area.
With air quality in the moderate range, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors, the DEQ said.
Pollutant levels could reach the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range during the overnight hours due to poor mixing and heavy woodstove use in some areas, the agency said.
No North Idaho areas are expected to reach either unhealthy, very unhealthy or hazardous ranges.