Air Quality is at Unhealthy Levels

Air Quality OTS_1505339432409.png

Is the air we’re breathing safe?

The Montana fires are still raging and the effects are being felt right here in North Dakota. 

Waking up this morning you probably noticed an unusually bright orange sun, and that is due to the smoke, but this scene is not necessarily good for your health.

We spoke with a few experts to tell you how exactly this impacts your health. 

The haze in sky is a similar sight. In 2015, smoke from Canadian wildfires plagued the region … Now it is happening again.

Fritz Langenbacher, Washington State Resident, says, “I was wondering if it was clouds or fog and I stepped outside and I could smell the smoke, I knew it was wood smoke and I knew there were fires in Montana.”

Due to the Montana fires, there is a haze or smoke across western and central North Dakota and this is causing health problems.

Dr. Anthony Tello, Sanford Health, says, “You get a lot of mucus production in your airways, even those without lung and heart disease, you’re going to get watery, burning, itching eyes, nasal congestion, scratchy throat.”

The past couple of days the smoke was high in the atmosphere, meaning there was not as much of an impact, but that changed Tuesday night.

“It has dropped down to ground level, so the concentrations have raised and the smoke has come from up higher in the atmosphere and moved down,” says, Chuck Hyatt, Air Quality Division of the Department of Health.

This makes it so we are able to smell it and breathe it in. As the smoke sinks down the air quality rises to unhealthy levels. Infants, young adults, and the elderly are most at risk, especially those with heart and lung problems. 

“Stay indoors unless you absolutely have to go outside and if you do, spend as little time outside as possible,” says Dr. Tello.

Fritz is traveling back to the west and he is hearing that the smoke is going to get worse as he gets close to the fires.

Langenbacher,”I hope that it doesn’t effect my health as I get into the depth of the smoke there in Montana.”

And this smoke, stretches further than North Dakota, almost all the states surrounding Montana are being affected. 

If you don’t have lung or heart problems– the solution can be as simple washing out your eyes or take cough medicine and most importantly– avoid going outside.

Dickinson Public Schools cancelled all outdoor activities– including recess and athletic events today due to the smoke. 

And Bismarck Public Schools cancelled recess as well. 


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