Canadian Wildfires Prompt Air Quality Alert for South Dakota
As smoke from ongoing Canadian Wildfires continues to drift southward, it's having quite an impact on the air we breathe.
Things have gotten so bad that the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources has issued an air quality alert for areas of South Dakota where smoke from wildfires in Canada has settled.
That smoke, from a series of blazes north of the border, is producing pollution levels that are greater than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
The haze from the fire is causing low visibility and increased fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. Hourly PM2.5 values greater than 35 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) are a concern to public health.
The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) is advising that these levels may be a concern to public health, especially elderly citizens, young children, and individuals with respiratory problems.
Record heat in Canada is contributing to the dry conditions that have sparked as many as 89 fires in Alberta alone, burning 1.3 million acres so far.
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