|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2023
Allan Urlis, APR, Nebraska Department of Environmental Health, 402-432-1532,
DHHS/NDEE Issue Smoke Advisory for Eastern Nebraska
Issued for: Thursday, Aug. 17 through Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023
Affected Area: Eastern Nebraska
Air Quality Index: Moderate to Unhealthy Air Quality Index (AQI)
Potential Air Quality Impacts from Wildfires
Smoke associated with Canadian wildfires may affect the air quality in Nebraska.
An advisory of possible Moderate to Unhealthy (yellow, orange, and red) Air Quality Index (AQI) impacts may occur in eastern Nebraska, potentially affecting Columbus, Fremont, Lincoln, Norfolk, Omaha, Wayne, and surrounding areas from Thursday evening, August 17, through Saturday evening, August 19, 2023.
Moderate AQI (yellow)
During Moderate AQI (Yellow category) conditions, those who are unusually sensitive to particle pollution may experience health effects. When conditions rise to the yellow category, those who are unusually sensitive are advised to consider shortening outdoor activities and reducing the intensity of these activities. Symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath are signs to take it easier.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI (orange)
During Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI (Orange category) conditions, members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children. When conditions rise to the orange category, sensitive groups are advised to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion and avoid intense outdoor activities. Everyone else can remain active and adjust activity duration and intensity as needed.
Unhealthy AQI (red)
During Unhealthy AQI (Red category) conditions, some members of the general public may experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children. When conditions rise to the red category, everyone is advised to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and those in sensitive groups should consider moving activities indoors or rescheduling. Advisories are issued for areas of anticipated impact by notifying the media and local health departments, and posting information on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy’s (NDEE) webpages and social media sites. These advisories provide information to the public on the anticipated impacts and air quality and health resources to help citizens protect their health and minimize exposure to smoke.
States monitor smoke levels and weather conditions to determine when impacts to air quality are anticipated. Advisories are based on data from the National Weather Service (NWS), smoke plume modeling, and from ambient air quality monitors located in Omaha, Bellevue, Blair, Lincoln, Beatrice, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff.
The following Air Quality Index (AQI) is used. This AQI is used nationally and is available in real-time for Nebraska by visiting https://www.airnow.gov.
For more information on smoke awareness, visit NDEE’s website at http://dee.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirSA
For more information on burn activity and a smoke outlook, visit NDEE’s website at http://dee.ne.gov/Press.nsf/pages/AirSA-2
View seasonal news release for information on the Flint Hills burns at https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=583
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