The ENTIRE State of Iowa is in an AIR QUALITY ALERT
The National Weather Service in Des Moines says that northerly winds are bringing more smoke from wildfires out west and in Canada into Iowa. The alert has also been issued for nearly all of Minnesota.
Heavy wildfire smoke is expected to travel south and east across the state, reaching Interstate 80 by around midnight tonight and extending to southern Iowa by 5 AM Friday.
The wildfire smoke will linger across most of the state of Iowa throughout the day on Friday. During this time, fine particle levels are expected to be in the Orange AQI category, a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) runs from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. 'Orange' is 101-150.
Levels will begin to improve around noon on Friday. By mid-afternoon Friday, air quality should improve below alert levels statewide.
The National Interagency Fire Center says that 82 large fires have burned 1,694,927 acres in 13 states. New large fires were reported in Idaho, Alaska, and Minnesota.
So far this year, as of 7/29, over 37,000 fires have charred over 3.4 million acres in the United States.
Sensitive groups include the elderly, those with respiratory or heart disease, and children. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recommends that individuals in these sensitive groups limit prolonged outdoor exertion until air quality conditions improve.
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