Charleston, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality and the state Department of Health and Human Resources' (DHHR) Bureau for Public Health (BPH) are continuing the statewide air quality advisory as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to adversely impact air quality. The advisory is extended through Friday, June 30, 2023.
According to AirNow.gov
, the Air Quality Index for most of West Virginia is in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" (Orange) to "Unhealthy" (Red) ranges. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases, and the elderly.
The National Weather Services’ Charleston branch expects new weather patterns will help move the wildfire smoke and particulate matter out of the southern West Virginia area by Saturday evening. West Virginia’s northern panhandle, north central region, and eastern panhandle are expected to see meteorological conditions related to particulate matter improve by Friday afternoon.
Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, citizens in areas with poor air quality are encouraged to limit their time outdoors and avoid strenuous activities. N-95 masks can help reduce smoke inhalation and potential health risks.
Citizens are encouraged to check the AirNow website
to see real time air quality data in their area and surrounding states. Please make sure you are viewing the interactive map for your area using the "contours" setting for Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM).
More information about the AQI, including activity guides for when air quality reaches unhealthy levels, is available here
for information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on protecting yourself from wildfire smoke.