PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Wildfire smoke pouring in from Canada has prompted the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to issue an Air Quality Alert for the entire state.
The DEM expects the air quality will reach unhealthy levels during the overnight hours, adding that the haze is already impacting northern Rhode Island.
The Air Quality Alert is expected to last until midday Tuesday.
It’s not unusual for Rhode Island to see wildfire smoke during the summer months, according to the DEM, though it typically stays in the upper levels of the atmosphere and doesn’t affect the air quality.
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Unhealthy air quality levels can cause adverse health effects including throat irritation, coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath. Young children and older adults are particularly susceptible, along with people with respiratory diseases such as asthma.
The DEM recommends Rhode Islanders limit outdoor exercise and strenuous activity and stay in an air-conditioned environment if possible.
Anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms should contact their doctor.