Wildfire smoke, although visible, not impacting air quality in western Massachusetts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) — Record-breaking wildfires continue to burn millions of acres out west. Some of the worst wildfires are in California, Oregon and Washington where tens of thousands of locals have had to evacuate. But many more people even outside of those areas are feeling the effects of the blazes in the air quality as a result of the smoke.

Unhealthy air quality levels are felt as far as Montana and Idaho with hazardous air quality for Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and even parts of British Columbia in Canada. Air quality levels in California dropped so low that it’s considered some of the worst air quality in the world. Locals in the hazardous air quality areas, in purple, are being urged to stay inside and close their windows and doors.

But even though the smoke is visible here in western Massachusetts, enough so to obscure the sun and lead to dazzling sunrises, the local smoke is tens of thousands of feet up in the air. So it’s not expected to cause air quality issues for locals here. 

The air quality for Wednesday and Thursday is good, meaning air pollution poses no health risk.

Air Quality Index for Sept. 16, 2020. (Airnow.gov)

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