INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued Air Quality Action Days for Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8, for all Indiana counties due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.
Current high particulate readings exist in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Muncie. Other major cities across the Midwest and east coast are experiencing high readings.
IDEM warns the air quality may be impacted beyond Thursday. Hoosiers can visit smogwatch.IN.gov to view current and forecasted conditions and subscribe to email alerts.
IDEM says you can help do your part in improving air quality, reduce PM2.5, and protect your own health by doing the following:
- Avoid burning wood in fireplaces or wood-fired boilers and any other unnecessary fires
- Reminder: Indiana’s open burning laws make it illegal to burn trash and generally prohibit open burning, visit IN.gov/openburning for more information
- Reduce activity time outdoors to reduce unhealthy exposure to PM5 and avoid exercising near busy roads
- Combine errands into one trip
- Avoid using gasoline-powered snow removal equipment or gas-powered recreational vehicles
- Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
- Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the thermostat to 70 degrees or lower
PM2.5 is composed of microscopic dust, soot, and liquid that settles deep into the lungs and cannot be easily exhaled. Those people at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high PM2.5 exposure.
IDEM examines weather patterns and PM2.5 readings to make daily air quality forecasts. Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, snow cover, higher humidity, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground.