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Health Department issues air quality advisory for Lincoln due to Canadian wildfires

The Lincoln Journal Star - 5/13/2024

May 13—The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department on Monday issued an air quality advisory due to smoke from wildfires in western Canada.

The department said smoke from the fires could cause air quality to reach levels that are unhealthy for children, older adults and those with asthma, lung disease and other respiratory or heart conditions.

"Smoke from these fires has affected areas of Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas through much of the day on Monday, and wind conditions are forecast to carry that smoke south and east into the Lancaster County area," Gary Bergstrom, the Health Department's air quality program supervisor, said in a news release.

As of Monday afternoon, air quality in Lincoln was still in the good category, but Bergstrom said the highest potential for smoke impacts locally was going to be Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Breathing smoke can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause chest pain in some people with heart disease, Bergstrom said.

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