INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has extended the Air Quality Action Days until Friday across all of Indiana due to high levels of particulate and smoke traveling across the state due to Canadian wildfires.
The air quality alert could also extend over the weekend.
Currently, IDEM said high particulate readings exist in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Muncie and Cincinnati. High particulate, or high-fine particle pollution, can irritate the lungs and cause respiratory issues.
High levels of fine-particle pollution include microscopic dust, soot and liquid that can settle deep into the lungs and cannot be easily exhaled, IDEM explained. People at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high fine particulate exposure.
The high levels of particulate across Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic states are due to intense wildfires burning in Canada. Recently the fires encroached on Quebec but have also blazed across Nova Scotia and other Canadian provinces.
A Tweet from the EPA shows smoke from the wildfire heavily impacting large portions of the Eastern United States.
IDEM encourages Hoosiers to reduce creating fine-particle pollution by avoiding burning wood in fireplaces or wood-fired boilers or any unnecessary fires.
Hoosiers are also encouraged to reduce outdoor activities to limit exposure to particulate and to keep windows closed and to run air conditioning on a recirculation setting.
IDEM asks Hoosiers to reduce the use of gas-powered vehicles by limiting trips, carpooling, avoiding using drive-thrus and avoiding the use of recreational vehicles during the Air Quality Action Days.
Conserve power as well during the action days by turning off lights or setting thermostats to a higher setting.
Also, use propane gas instead of charcoal when grilling outdoors.
Those with underlying lung or heart diseases should also consider investing in air purifiers.