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Bad air predicted through end of week

SALISBURY ó The air today, Thursday and Friday will be unhealthy for sensitive groups, the N.C. Division of Air Quality says.
On these ěcode orangeî days, the agency advises children, the elderly and people with heart disease, asthma and other breathing problems to limit outdoor activity.
For those who need to travel around the city, though, the air quality action days mean free transportation. On days coded orange and red for air quality, Salisburyís annual free bus ride program continues.
The program started May 1 and lasts through Sept. 30. At the end of the day Tuesday, it had provided a total of 24,081 free trips on 23 ozone action days, Transit Manager Rodney Harrison said.
Ozone will be the main problem this week, with only moderate particle pollution, according to the state agency.
The air quality is affected by high temperatures and high humidity, with stagnant air building each day. Wednesdayís high should reach 92 degrees, with a predicted high Thursday of 95 and a high of 97 for both Friday and Saturday with little to no chance of rain.
Open burning is generally prohibited on Air Quality Action days, including brush and grass piles.
Bus service is available Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. City buses donít run on Sunday.
By 5 p.m. each day, the Salisbury Transit Division receives the local air quality and ozone level report forecast for the next day. If the local forecast predicts an orange or red ozone action day, the free ride program will be initiated.
The forecast can change, so residents may contact the transit hotline at 704-216-7537 after 7 p.m. each day to receive an updated ozone status report.
In addition, residents may visit the city of Salisburyís Transit Division website at www.salisburync.gov/transit for more information.

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