Air Quality Index shows wildfire smoke move across the heartland.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today issued a health advisory due to smoke from wildfires in western Canada.

Heavy smoke from large wildfires in Canada will be carried south into eastern Nebraska over the next few days. In Lancaster County, this is expected to result in periods of poor air quality beginning late Thursday evening and ending around noon on Saturday. During that time, it is possible that levels of smoke may be unhealthy for everyone. Smoke levels may fluctuate due to weather patterns and smoke production by the fires.

Smoke from wildfires can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause angina (chest pain) in some people with heart disease. Those most at risk are youth, older adults and sensitive individuals with respiratory or heart conditions, according to LLCHD officials.

People at risk should avoid extensive physical activity outdoors or remain indoors with windows and doors closed. People heading outdoors should reduce strenuous physical activity, take plenty of breaks and watch for symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or chest pain. People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and have quick relief medicine readily available.

Those who experience health effects should contact a medical care provider. Even a few hours of exposure to high levels of particle pollution may affect those with underlying health conditions.

You can check the Air Quality Index (AQI) at For more information on LLCHD, visit

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