Smoke Storm: Chicago’s Air Quality Issues

Smoke Storm

Due to Canadian wildfire smoke storm, the National Weather Service warned about air quality in wide sections of Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana on Sunday.

As of early Sunday afternoon, the EPA’s AirNow webpage reported “unhealthy” air quality in Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Des Moines. In Omaha and Cincinnati, sensitive groups were advised to avoid breathing the air.

Even though the quantity of smoke is forecast to decrease by Monday in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and northern High Plains, experts warn that there remains to be enough smoke present to make the air toxic for sensitive groups.

As the week begins, the Northeast will be shrouded in a thick cloud as the winds continue to carry the smoke eastward.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there were about 900 active wildfires in Canada on Saturday. A map maintained by the center shows that flames are active across the whole country. Approximately the size of Indiana has been destroyed by wildfires in Canada so far this year, or about 10 million hectares.

When smoke levels are high, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommends closing all windows and doors, especially before going to bed. In addition, officials advised people to stay inside and avoid prolonged physical exertion. The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services both issued statements urging residents in affected regions to take precautions against further exposure whenever possible.

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The region’s inhabitants have had to endure wildfire smoke before. In late June, smoke from many wildfires caused the air in Chicago among the worst it ever experienced.

Smokers are more likely to suffer eye, nose, and throat problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma and heart disease harm the immune system, which makes it easier to fall sick.

Two Canadian firemen have perished recently while battling forest fires. One person died Saturday, according to local reports. The firemen’s union said that another fireman died Thursday combating a fire near Revelstoke, British Columbia. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted about the firefighter.

He tweeted, “It’s tragic to hear that one of the courageous firefighters fighting wildfires in British Columbia has died.” During this extraordinarily challenging time, I extend my deepest condolences to her family, friends, and fellow firefighters.