Air Quality Alert issued for Thursday as smoke from wildfires rolls through area

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Jul. 22—The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency have issued an Air Quality Alert for Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties. The Air Quality Index is 101, which means that the air is considered unhealthy for those in "sensitive groups."

The MVRPC and the RAPCA report that older adults, anyone with respiratory or cardiac disease and those with asthma should be cautious and reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Anyone with asthma should follow their asthma action plan and keep quick relief medicine handy. The general public is not at risk, but the MVRPC and RAPCA advise that anyone working outside should take breaks and do fewer strenuous activities.

If you or someone you know is experiencing coughing, heart palpitations, shortness of breath or unusual fatigue, contact a healthcare provider.

To reduce air pollution, those in the Miami Valley should avoid driving if possible and limit use of small gasoline-powered equipment, both of which can cause large amounts of air pollution. Vehicle emissions cause almost 50% of ground-level ozone and operating a gas-powered lawn mower for an hour produces the same amount of pollution as driving a car for 11 hours, the MVRPC and the RAPCA said in a release.

If possible, Miami Valley residents should wait to refuel their car until after 8 p.m. to reduce possible smog fumes from gasoline. If residents plan to mow their lawns, the MVRPC and the RAPCA recommend waiting until the evening so smog is less likely to form.

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