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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has extended an air quality alert for Southern, Eastern, and North Central Wisconsin through midnight tonight.

This advisory affects people living in the following counties: Racine, Kenosha, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.

The air quality index has reached the orange (or unhealthy of sensitive groups level) and is also expected to move into the red (or unhealthy level).

This means that people with lung diseases (such as asthma), children, older adults, and people who are out. in addition, everyone should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

For tips on how to stay healthy and help prevent summertime air pollution, visit the Wisconsin DNR website. Additional

Candian fires continue to impact Wisconsin

The air quality continues to be impacted by smoke originating from wildfires in Quebec, Canada. The PM2.5 concentrations at the surface continue to impact much of the state.

In general, the lowest PM2.5 concentrations are expected to the northwest and southeast, while the highest concentrations are expected within the corridor south of a Minneapolis/St Paul, Minn. to Ironwood, Mich. line and north of a Dubuque, Iowa to Green Bay, Wis. line.

What is PM2.5?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides the following information on Particulate Matter.

PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.

    Particle pollution includes:

    • PM10 : inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller; and
    • PM2.5 : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
      • How small is 2.5 micrometers? Think about a single hair from your head. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter – making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.

AirNow is the official site of the U.S. Air Quality Index. Anyone can check on the air quality at any time, and find invaluable resources concerning air quality and health. The website includes the following information, per its “About” page:

AQI for June 5, 2023, for Racine, Wis. – Credit:
  • Current and forecast air quality maps and data for more than 500 cities across the U.S. 
  • Current and historical data for U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world
  • Current fire conditions including fire locations, smoke plumes, and air quality data from permanent and temporary air quality monitors
  • Air quality data for Canada and Mexico
  • Enviroflash emails, apps, widgets, and an API
  • Health and air quality information for
    • the public
    • healthcare professionals
    • teachers and students 
    • weathercasters


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