Phoenix area under ozone high pollution advisory

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued an ozone high pollution advisory for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

A high pollution advisory is issued when ozone levels are expected to exceed federal health standards and ADEQ officials say that should happen in Maricopa County on Thursday and Friday.

According to ADEQ, the lack of wind on Thursday allowed ozone levels to increase rapidly. Little to no cloud combine with temperatures near 100 degrees will keep those levels high, possibly above the federal health standard.

In addition to the high pollution advisory, a mandatory "No Burn Day" restriction is in effect until at least midnight. That restriction includes those businesses and individuals who have permits for open burning.

In addition to not using wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and fire pits, residents are also asked to drive as little as possible, to use alternate forms of transportation and to fuel up their vehicles after dark.

Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that occurs when other pollutants are heated by the sun.

Authorities say ozone can aggravate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

People with these conditions as well as the elderly and very young should avoid time outdoors, especially during the early evening hours when ozone production can peak.

The Valley of the Sun has a longer than average "ozone season," running from April to September.

This high pollution advisory does not have anything to do with the Wallow Fire that's burning in eastern Arizona.