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UPDATE (May 19, 1:20 p.m.): The Wisconsin DNR has updated the Air Quality Advisory to extend through midnight on May 20.

ORIGINAL STORY (May 18, 2:15 p.m.):

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an Air Quality Advisory throughout Wisconsin due to wildfire smoke originating in Canada. The alert is set to start at midnight on May 18 until midnight on May 19.

The following counties are affected by this alert: Racine, Kenosha, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.

According to the DNR, the smoke from wildfires in Canada will move into southern and eastern Wisconsin from northwest to southeast. Particulate matter concentrations will likely increase sharply at times before steadily diminishing as cleaner air moves in.

Air Quality level to reach unhealthy levels

It is estimated that the air quality index is expected to reach an unhealthy level for sensitive groups.

This means that people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, people with diabetes, and people of lower SES are advised to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. 

Predictions indicate that areas further west will have the potential to reach the unhealthy air quality index level, while areas further northeast will have the potential to see lesser impacts within the moderate air quality index level.

It is important that people are aware of the possible unhealthy levels they could be exposed to. For more information on current air quality visit Wisconsin Air Quality Monitoring Data.


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