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Smoke from wildfires prompts air quality alert

National Weather Service

An air quality alert was issued Tuesday for Western New York due to drifting smoke from wildfires in Canada and the western portion of the U.S. The air quality health advisory came from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for fine particles. The air quality index was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.

“When pollution levels are elevated, the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects,” the National Weather Service noted. “People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician.”

Smoke from the western U.S. and Canada is causing periods of reduced visibility across the northern half of the country, including western and north central New York. Smoke will continue over the region through Wednesday morning, before a cold front helps push the smoke east.

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