Potential Air Quality Impacts from Wildfires in Canada

August 3, 2021

Emily Case, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, (402) 471-4245; Emily.case@nebraska.gov

Julie Naughton, Office of Communications, DHHS (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell); julie.naughton@nebraska.gov


Potential Air Quality Impacts from Wildfires in Canada

Lincoln – An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur statewide in Nebraska beginning August 3 through August 4. Intermittent Unhealthy (red category) impacts in certain areas are also possible.  Impacts may continue at the Moderate AQI level through the weekend.

During yellow category/moderate conditions, sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. When conditions rise to the orange category, sensitive groups are advised to reduce prolonged outdoor exertion. In red category/unhealthy conditions, sensitive groups should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and consider moving activities indoors or rescheduling; others should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion and take more breaks during outdoor activities.

Wildfires in Canada and the western U.S. may affect the air quality in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy staff monitor smoke levels and wind directions to assess when impacts to Nebraska’s air quality may occur. Smoke advisories are issued for impacted areas 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. Advisories help citizens protect their health by alerting them to days where outdoor activities should be reduced or avoided to minimize exposure to smoke.

Advisories are based on data provided by National Weather Service, smoke plume modeling, and from air quality monitors located in Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff.

The following Air Quality Index (AQI) is used. This AQI is used nationally. For an hourly update on air quality across Nebraska, visit https://www.airnow.gov. To sign up for automatic air quality notifications by text or email, visit http://www.enviroflash.info.


Helping People Live Better Lives | dhhs.ne.gov