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MADISON — A statewide air quality advisory has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) due to wildfire smoke coming from Western Canada.

The advisory starts at noon on July 14 and will extend until noon on July 16.

Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to range from the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange) level to possibly scattered areas reaching the Unhealthy (Red) level.

According to the DNR, the smoke will reach northwest counties this afternoon and evening. However, on Saturday morning, the heaviest smoke impacts are expected in the southern half of the state, including Racine and Kenosha Counties.

Improvements from June

During the month of June, Racine and Kenosha Counties, along with the rest of the state, were impacted by prolonged and severe wildfire smoke events. The DNR stated in an advisory that this event of wildfire-related air quality reduction will likely not be as prolonged and severe as last month.

Take action

The DNR is currently advising all people to close all windows and doors during periods of heavy smoke – especially overnight – to help prevent smoke from entering homes and buildings.

During this air quality advisory, the DNR also recommends those in sensitive groups which includes those with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, those who are pregnant, and those who work outdoors to consider avoiding prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

Everyone else is directed to limit prolonged or heavy exertion.

If the Air Quality Index reaches the red “Unhealthy” level, sensitive groups should consider moving events inside, and everyone else should consider avoiding heavy exertion.

During the advisory, watch for symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath as a sign to take a break or move indoors. 

Any medical emergencies should be addressed by calling 911 or contacting their providers.

More information about Air Quality and Emergencies can be viewed on the CDC’s website.

Stay in the know

It is important to stay up to date with alerts impacting Wisconsin. Check the local Air quality index by visiting the statewide air monitoring network – Wisconsin Data Map.


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