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Linda M., ID

I live in a 7th floor apartment with lots of large windows in Boise, Idaho. So when our air pollution is bad, I can see it immediately! I also have allergies and asthma, so I also feel and breathe it.

When I moved to Boise in 2004 to be near my family, the population was much smaller. I had peace and quiet all weekend. I could keep my windows open (excluding rain or winter). There were a few smoggy days too, but now the air is rarely clear.

The population has nearly doubled in the last 11 years, and summer forest fires wreak havoc on my ability to breathe. Two or three summers ago, I was forced to stay indoors and wear a mask for nearly three months! I could see nothing from my huge windows! Just smoke!

Now I fear the summers here due to controlled burns. We do have good days, but from my 7th story perch, I can see the bad air and I fear it.

It is shortening my life!

First Published: May 1, 2015

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