Low air quality increases work week changes


SPOKANE, Wash. -Air quality reached “Hazardous” levels, leading to a variety of changes for businesses throughout the region on Monday.

Many companies made adjustments, but kept working. Avista postponed all regularly scheduled work. David Vowels, Avista’s Communications Manager, said it plans to keep it that way until air quality “returns to a level considered safe.” However, that doesn’t mean employees have the day off.

“Our field personnel will continue to respond to emergencies when necessary to ensure the safety of our customers and the public. For employees that do have to respond, we have made available a N95 mask that filters particulates from the air for their protection,” Vowels said.

Some companies called off work altogether. Darren McMillin is a technician for Hotstart Inc. He works indoors, but said his workplace’s building could still bring in low-quality air.

"We do have a ventilation system that could bring in some of the smoke, but I think my employer decided, out of the safety for all the employees, to call it a day,” McMillin said.

Some businesses didn’t change anything. Zachary Dale works for T&C Lawn Care and said the air looked much worse than it felt.

"If I were to not be able to breathe because of the smoke, I'd simply step aside, drink water to flush all of the bad stuff out of my system,” Dale said.

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