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Heavy Wildfire Smoke Impacts Flagstaff Area

Ryan Heinsius

Heavy smoke from regional wildfires has settled in the Flagstaff area. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the Coconino County health department has recommended the public curtail outdoor activity until it lifts. 

Officials recommend anyone in the area limit outdoor exertion. In addition, those with heart or lung disease, asthma, as well as young children and the elderly should avoid going outside entirely.

Most of the smoke is from the Boundary Fire near the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff.

Scott Sheppard is an air resource advisor with the U.S. Forest Service.

"We’ll have an inversion that will likely break at around 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. The smoke should for the most part be fine for residents, however, in the earlier mornings we do expect some fairly poor quality that may impact sensitive groups," he says.

Sheppard says smoke from a wildfire in southern Utah is also affecting northern Arizona and the Navajo Nation. Officials urge caution while driving near wildfires, and say smoke could impact U.S. highway 180, U.S. 89 and Interstate-40. 

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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