PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Smoke from wildfires in Canada has settled in eastern South Dakota, prompting the state’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) to issue an air quality alert.
In a news release, the DANR says the current air pollution levels exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. The smoke has created visibility issues and increased fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution to levels that could impact public health.
The elderly, young children and people with respiratory problems are the most susceptible. Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD.
If you are concerned, you should consider avoiding excessive physical exertion, minimize outdoor activities and keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors.
DANR maintains air quality data on its website for locations in eastern South Dakota including Aberdeen, Watertown, Brookings, Sioux Falls, Union County and Pierre. You can track the PM2.5 concentrations by visiting DANR’s website or AirNow’s website.