New Air Quality Alert issued for Wednesday due to ongoing Canadian wildfires

UPDATE – 8PM Tuesday: In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection has issued an Orange air quality alert for Potter County and a Red Alert for Bradford County for Wednesday.
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BREAKING: The State Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation have issued another AIR QUALITY ALERT (AQI) for Western and Central New York from midnight tonight through midnight Wednesday due to weather conditions associated with ongoing Canadian wildfires.

Allegany County, which is included in the Central New York Region for (AQI) purposes, is in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category, with Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties west under the higher Unhealthy designation.

State officials say that a cold front entering Western New York from the northwest in the early morning hours Wednesday and reaching Downstate regions by evening, is expected to bring winds which have potential for near-surface smoke impacts statewide.

Health precautions
The health department is advising precautions to reduce risk, including: 

  • When AQI is greater than 100, New Yorkers in vulnerable groups should avoid exertion outdoors and watch for symptoms when exposed to the outdoors. Vulnerable individuals include those with cardiovascular disease (e.g., congestive heart failure, history of prior heart attack) or lung disease (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), as well as children under 18, adults 65 and older, and pregnant people.
  • When AQI is greater than 150, all New Yorkers should avoid strenuous outdoor activities, and those in vulnerable groups should avoid exposure to the outdoors, especially pregnant individuals who may become short of breath more easily. 
  • Individuals who are pregnant may also be more vulnerable and become short of breath more easily, staying indoors when AQI is greater than 150 is advised.
  • For people who spend time outdoors, when air quality is unhealthy, wearing a well-fitting face mask is recommended. A N95 or KN95 will work best.

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