Wildfires across Canada are again causing Michigan residents to experience hazardous air quality and hazy, smoke-filled skies this week.
It started with wildfires in Alberta, Canada, which brought high-altitude smoke and filtered views of the sun to the Great Lakes region in late May. Now, wildfires in eastern Canada and northern Michigan have sent more smoke and haze to the state's skies, the National Weather Service said Monday.
Southeast Michigan is facing dangerous air quality levels, including around 167 parts per million (ppm, the number of pollutants per square meter of air) Wednesday morning at a monitoring station in Tecumseh, 173 ppm in Detroit and over 171 ppm in Ann Arbor. West Michigan also saw hazardous levels, including near 130 ppm in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
Multiple waves of smoke and haze are impacting Michigan, thanks to wildfires in eastern Canada. A small smoke plume from the fire near Grayling is also barely visible. 9:36 am pic.twitter.com/PpIoZBHDc7
— NWS Gaylord (@NWSGaylord) June 4, 2023
On the scale of air quality ratings, 101-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups and 151-200 is unhealthy for the general public, according to the U.S. Air Quality Index. Sensitive groups impacted could include those with asthma or other health conditions.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy declared Wednesday, June 7, and Thursday, June 8, to be an Action Day for elevated levels of fine particulate in southeast Michigan counties. Pollutants are expected to be in the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" range with some hourly concentrations reaching the "unhealthy level," the National Weather Service said in an air quality alert issued Wednesday morning.
"It is recommended that active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma, limit prolonged outdoor exertion," the alert said.
"Relatively light but persistent (north-northeast) winds will continue to push wildfire smoke from Canadian fires into our area for the coming days," EGLE's air quality forecast said Wednesday morning. "A high-pressure system is dominating the area and is currently expected to stay over the Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula border until Friday which will continue the NNE winds."
The air conditions began to change in late May, bringing clouds of smoke and haze. This came from 108 wildfires burning in Alberta, causing more than 25,000 residents to evacuate from the affected region.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Michigan sees hazardous air, hazy skies amid Canadian wildfires