An air quality alert is in effect for Friday, June 9, 2023.
Canada is dealing with a series of intense wildfires that have spread from the western provinces to Quebec. The wind has carried smoke from the fires south, triggering air-quality alerts throughout the United States — and in the Asbury Park region.
Fine-particle pollution — known as “PM 2.5” — is what’s being measured. The tiny particles are small enough to get past airway defenses and cause breathing problems.
Air quality alert: Code Orange
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has issued a code orange air quality alert for Monmouth County. A code orange air quality alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercising outdoors.
Here is the latest near-surface smoke model guidance. The highest concentrations of smoke should be seen from Philadelphia and points south this afternoon, though not as extreme as previous days. For the latest AQI values, visit https://t.co/feYMPwR7XC #NJwx #PAwx #MDwx #DEwx pic.twitter.com/RRWWb0eWHN
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) June 9, 2023
Wildfire and smoke map
What to do when air quality is unhealthy
When air quality is unhealthy, it's important to take steps to protect yourself and your family. Here are some tips:
Stay indoors. This is the best way to avoid exposure to unhealthy air. If you must go outside, try to stay in areas with less pollution, such as parks or near water.
Avoid strenuous activity. When air quality is unhealthy, it's best to avoid activities that make you breathe harder, such as exercise or yard work.
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor. People with certain medical conditions, such as asthma or heart disease, may be more sensitive to unhealthy air. If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor about how to protect yourself during times of poor air quality.
Check the air quality forecast. You can check the air quality forecast for your area online or on the radio. This will help you know when air quality is unhealthy and when you need to take steps to protect yourself.
For those with health concerns, it's advised to stay indoors. If required to venture out, limit exposure and utilize a mask. While driving, set the air to recycle. To enhance home air quality, consider using portable air cleaners. pic.twitter.com/Wr8CfjA5mc
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) June 7, 2023
Here are some additional tips for protecting yourself from unhealthy air:
Wear a mask. If you must go outside when air quality is unhealthy, wear a mask that can filter out pollutants.
Keep your windows closed. When air quality is unhealthy, it's best to keep your windows closed to keep polluted air out of your home.
Use an air purifier. If you have an air purifier, use it to help clean the air in your home.
Moisturize your skin. Unhealthy air can dry out your skin, so it's important to moisturize regularly.
Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated can help your body flush out pollutants.
What is normal air quality?
Normal air quality is air that is not polluted and does not pose a health risk to most people. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measure of air quality, and an AQI of 0 to 50 is considered to be good.
How bad is the air quality?
Where are the Canadian wildfires?
British Columbia: The largest fire in British Columbia is the Lytton Creek Fire, which has burned over 1,500 square kilometers and forced the evacuation of over 1,000 people.
Alberta: The Chuckegg Creek Fire is the largest fire in Alberta, and has burned over 1,000 square kilometers.
Ontario: The Parry Sound 33 Fire is the largest fire in Ontario, and has burned over 200 square kilometers.
Quebec: There are several active fires burning in Quebec, including the Boisé du Tremblay Fire, which has burned over 100 square kilometers.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Air quality in NJ today: Code Orange; Wildfire, smoke map