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Smoke from wildfires bring air quality alerts

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry The sun is partially obscured by haze Tuesday evening in North Warren.

There was a haze over Warren County on Tuesday.

The county was not alone.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada and the western United States is moving east, causing air quality issues for large areas of the country, according to the National Weather Service.

“The hazy look to the day today is from the wildfire smoke,” Meteorologist Steve Travis said. “The winds are coming out of those areas bringing the smoke to our neck of the woods.”

The smoke is lower in the atmosphere than usual, he said.

Along with the smoke are air quality alerts for large areas of the state. Those with respiratory issues are advised to take extra caution while the air remains hazy.

“It can cause trouble for people with asthma and other lung problems,” Travis said. “Limit strenuous activity outside, particularly if you have asthma and if the smoke is making its way down lower.”

The National Weather Service is calling for that haze to continue through Wednesday evening.

That should be about the end of it — based on current fire activity and weather patterns. “It should dissipate by later this week,” Travis said.

Then again, the fires could kick back up.

“It’s a pretty bad fire season,” he said.

If there is a silver lining to poor air quality, it is the impact on sunlight. “Smoke can create more vibrant sunrise and sunset,” Travis said.

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