Air Quality Alert extended through Friday

By Roz Weis,

Hazy skies have become regular in the region.

Air quality has not improved in the Driftless Regional, and much of the state is still at ‘Unhealthy’ levels according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This has had some impact on visibility as well. An Air Quality Alert has been extended through Friday.

The DNR issued an air quality advisory for the entire state with the worst air quality expected in the eastern third of Iowa. Eastern Iowa is currently recording fine particulates at concentrations the EPA considers unhealthy. At this level sensitive groups of people, as well as the general public, may experience health effects.

Fine particulate levels near or above EPA health standards are expected to increase throughout the day and persist in these areas through Friday. Elevated levels of fine particulates may be a concern over the next several days as the smoke continues to move through the state.

The DNR recommends people reduce long or intense outdoor activities, and take more breaks during outdoor activities until air quality conditions improve. Groups sensitive to particulate matter include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers, and outdoor workers. Fine particulate levels could reach levels considered “unhealthy” where even healthy adults should consider limiting their activities.

Real-time air quality maps and information about the air quality index can be found on EPA’s site. A graphic approximation of the extent and trajectory of the smoke plume can be seen on the map at

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