Valley experiencing poor air quality due to fireworks and weather issues

Officials with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality say High Pollution Advisories are in effect for Phoenix on Jan. 1.

On their website, officials say an inversion layer, or a layer of warm air just above the ground, is trapping smoke from holiday-related fireworks and fireplace usage near the ground.

"You may notice a haze, and may even be able to smell smoke in the air," officials wrote.

According to figures and forecasts provided by ADEQ officials, levels of fine particulate matters were at a high level across the Valley before midnight.

"This is certainly one of the highest New Years we’ve seen, as far as smoke levels," said Pierre Herkes with the Arizona State University's School of Molecular Sciences.

Herkes says the air quality could be tough on people with breathing issues.

"These kinds of particles don’t tend to trigger allergies, but they could for people who have pre-existing conditions. High particle concentrations are triggers for asthma attacks or might not make them feel very well," said Herkes.

"When we get up to this high a level of PM2.5, everyone starts to feel the impact. You might have the runny nose, it might be harder to breathe," said Matt Pace with ADEQ.

According to a statement posted on Maricopa County's website, a High Pollution Advisory for PM2.5, also known as soot, will be extended through January 2 for Maricopa County.

Maricopa County's Air Quality Department has also announced some restrictions during the advisory, including the prohibition of wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, and outdoor fire pits. In addition, use of off-road vehicles is banned for the duration of the High Pollution Advisory.