(WWLP) – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued an Air Quality Alert for the entire region Tuesday, which is in effect till midnight.

Air pollution consists of chemicals and particles in the air that can be harmful to humans, animals, and plants. When the amount of particles in the air gets to a certain level, an air quality alert is put into place. The pollutants in the atmosphere can be man-made from emissions of cars, factories, or planes, or they can be from a natural source, like volcanoes or wildfires.

When they get to a certain level it can be harmful to people with lung or heart diseases.

Ale DiStefano of West Springfield told 22News, “My grandmother, she’s not doing too well and I’d imagine if she went outside she would have a few times trouble breathing.”

This current air quality alert that is in effect is for the number of fine particles in the atmosphere. Smoke from the wildfires out west has continued to move across the United States. It’s now entering the northeast, which is the reason behind these hazy skies.

The haze or smoke in the sky has gotten worse as the day progressed because the winds are light. If the winds were strong, then the smoke would be pushed out of the region. Since they are not, they are struggling to clear which allows them to build up to an unhealthy level.

Derrick Chub Powell of Springfield said, “It’s hard walking this way because of the extreme heat, but you need to do it, only if it’s for a little bit.”

If you are someone who has a respiratory illness, it’s important to reduce prolonged outdoor exertion like exercising and take frequent breaks. This smoke will clear out of the region Wednesday due to a weather front that will move into our area. Now, we are expecting this to clear out of the region Wednesday.

On a more positive note, this smoky sky will lead to a very vivid sunset Monday, so be sure to keep an eye to the sky.