Boston Herald

Hazy air sticking around

- By Rick Sobey rick.sobey@bostonhera­

Those hazy skies and that smoky smell from the Canadian wildfires is unfortunat­ely not going to get wiped away by some scattered rain showers.

After the region’s air quality plummeted yesterday due to the wildfire smoke, Bay State environmen­tal officials are yet again warning that the smoke will impact the area today.

And local meteorolog­ists expect the smoke to linger through at least Saturday.

“It’s going to stick with us for the next few days, based on the trajectory of the plume,” Bill Simpson, meteorolog­ist at the National Weather Service’s Boston office, told the Herald on Tuesday. “Probably through at least Saturday.”

“Smoke is not healthy, so if you can avoid being outside and avoid strenuous activity, that’s a good idea,” he added.

The wildfire smoke from Canada will continue to influence fine particle levels across the region on Wednesday, according to the Massachuse­tts Department of Environmen­tal Protection.

“Fine particle levels will likely average in the Moderate range with some Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups readings possible at times,” reads MassDEP’s air quality advisory.

Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, older adults, children, teenagers, and people who are active outdoors.

MassDEP on Tuesday had been advising people in sensitive groups to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion, take more breaks, do less intense activities, follow asthma action plans, and keep quick relief medicine handy.

Even though some rain showers arrived on Tuesday, it didn’t affect the smoke levels very much.

“They’re mostly scattered showers, so they have a very localized effect,” Simpson said. “They’re not these widespread showers that can clean out the atmosphere.”

With the air quality advisory in effect, residents should close their windows, according to Eric Schiff, a physics professor at Syracuse University and an indoor air quality expert.

“When local authoritie­s warn about poor air quality, windows should be closed,” he said.

Air purifiers can help improve indoor air quality, Schiff added, saying they’re useful in reducing the buildup of small particles and unhealthy gases.

Canada is dealing with a series of intense wildfires that have spread from the western provinces to Quebec, with hundreds of forest fires burning.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmen­tal Protection Agency issued a poor air quality alert for New England, a day after parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received a similar advisory. Last week, U.S. officials as far south as Maryland, Baltimore, Virginia and Pennsylvan­ia reported being impacted by the wildfires.

 ?? MATT STONE -- BOSTON HERALD ?? A hazy blanket of smoke from the Canadian wildfires smothers the city yesterday, and it will be with us into the weekend.
MATT STONE -- BOSTON HERALD A hazy blanket of smoke from the Canadian wildfires smothers the city yesterday, and it will be with us into the weekend.

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