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Mulch fire smoke moving toward Gilbert, Chandler as fire continues to burn

By Kye Graves, Arizona Republic,


Although the May 31 mulch fire that began in the East Valley remains contained, the fire is still burning, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

In line with the original estimation of a 24- to 48-hour burn, no other updates were provided by MCSO.

On Wednesday , Rural Metro Fire spokesperson Shawn Gilleland said that smoke would be lingering throughout the next few days, which crews would continue to monitor.

Previous coverage: Smoke persists after mulch fire near Mesa contained

"Smoke that moved over portions of the Valley yesterday (Thursday) cleared out of the area by mid-morning as temperatures warmed. All PM-2.5 (smoke) monitors within the Phoenix Valley yesterday were in the Good AQI category for the 24-hour average, which is what the EPA federal health standard is based on," Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Communications Manager Caroline Oppleman told The Arizona Republic.

However, light smoke produced from the fire had begun pushing toward the Gilbert and Chandler areas on Friday, but Oppleman noted that it will follow the same trend as Thursday, lifting and clearing out above the surface as the day moves on.

"While short-term light to moderate smoke impacts will be possible as the fire continues to burn, we are not expecting values to exceed the federal health standard," Oppleman said.

ADEQ meteorologist Matt Pace also provided an update via the department's hourly air quality Phoenix forecast .

"While you may smell smoke at the surface, monitors and sensors in the area have not seen values above the health standard set by the EPA. With that said, if you are smelling smoke, you are breathing smoke, and if you are sensitive to it, limit your outdoor activity," Pace said.

A high pollution advisory is in effect Friday through Sunday, June 4, but Pace said it is due to high levels of ozone and not due to high levels of smoke from the mulch fire.

"As for air quality, with light winds for the next several days forecasting ozone to be in the USG category today through Sunday, so an Ozone High Pollution Advisory is in effect. By Monday, winds will help to clear the airshed of ozone and ozone precursors, with values lowering back into the Moderate AQI category," Pace said.

Those interested can monitor the Phoenix Air Quality Index to get up-to-date information on advisories and conditions at .

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Mulch fire smoke moving toward Gilbert, Chandler as fire continues to burn

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