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Air Quality Action Day in effect Tuesday and Wednesday

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A statewide Air Quality Action Day has been issued for Tuesday and Wednesday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. at 9:25 p.m. Tuesday showed some the worst air quality in Indiana from the Canada wildfires smoke was in Anderson, Auburn, Kokomo, Lafayette and Larwill.

The National Weather Service said in an alert issued Tuesday morning, “All of central Indiana will see downstream impacts of smoke from Canadian fires today and tomorrow. Reduced visibilities are expected, primarility (sic) between 3 and 4 miles, with peak reductions of 1 mile possible. Air Quality may also be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

“If traveling through these areas be prepared for haze that could suddenly reduce visibilities. We expect conditions to improve beginning on Thursday.”

High levels of fine particles — microscopic pieces of dust, soot, liquid, and smoke — could build to unhealthy levels in the outdoor air in areas across the state, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management says.

When the fine particles are inhaled, they can settle deep in the lungs and lead to coughing and difficulty breathing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, try to limit prolonged time outdoors, particularly for children, the elderly, and those with heart or respiratory conditions. A mask worn over the mouth and nose can help anyone who has to be outside.

Air quality and health graphic. (Photo by National Weather Service)

Environmental Management is encouraging these steps to help reduce the fine particles in the air:

  • Avoid burning wood
  • Reduce time outdoors
  • Combine your errands into a single trip
  • Don’t use “gasoline-powered snow removal equipment or gas-powered recreational vehicles”
  • Don’t let your engine idle
  • Turn off your lights or set your thermostat to 70 degrees or below

Visit the IDEM website to learn more about Air Quality Action Days.