Area under air quality alert through Wednesday

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Ottumwa Courier — The entire state of Iowa is under an Air Quality Alert by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources through Wednesday because of Canadian wildfire smoke that is sifted into the region.

Widespread haze and smoke odors in the atmosphere can create respiratory issues for those impacted, and it is advised by the DNR to take more breaks during outdoor activities until conditions improve. People who suffer from heart or lung disease, older adults, and outdoor workers should take caution if venturing or working outside. It is also recommended outdoor activities be moved inside or rescheduled, if possible.

Fine particulates in the air are expected to reach unhealthy levels according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and are expected to persist throughout Wednesday.

According to Wapello County Emergency Management, local fire departments have received numerous smoke complaint calls. Anyone who goes outside but needs a mask can get them for free at Wapello County Public Health in the Wapello Building.

The EPA also has a website, fire.airnow.gov, to track the current situation with the smoke and air quality.

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