Canadian Wildfires Prompts Air Quality Advisory For Maine
May 30, 2023
24-hour particle pollution concentrations are expected to reach Moderate levels Tuesday late afternoon into Wednesday according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Several fires have been burning for more than a day in Nova Scotia. The smoke has moved into the Gulf of Maine where winds from a small High-Pressure system combined with an afternoon sea breeze are expected to bring the smoke ashore in Maine during the afternoon to evening hours. The plume of smoke is expected to move inland overnight. While there could be a few hours with higher levels of particle pollution it is expected that the 24-hour average will not rise above the moderate range on the Air Quality Index. Skies will be hazy; visibility may be reduced and the odor of smoke is likely to be apparent.
At elevated particle pollution levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest. Additionally, those with a heart disease should also follow these recommendations.
Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:
Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
If you are indoors, close windows and circulate indoor air with a fan or air conditioner.
The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat/
For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site https://www.epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.
In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:
Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to:
EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html
Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html
EPAs mobile app is available at: https://www.airnow.gov/airnow-mobile-app/
DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196
In addition you may check EPAs AirNow Fire & Smoke map for particle pollution levels: https://fire.airnow.gov/
For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEPs air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/
For additional information, contact: David R. Madore, Deputy Commissioner firstname.lastname@example.org