SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An air quality alert has been issued for areas across South Dakota where smoke from wildfires is expected to settle this week, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) said.

The alert is in effect through Thursday, Sept. 7, or until conditions improve.

The smoke may cause low visibility and increased fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, according to the DANR. The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) advises that these levels may be a concern to public health.

Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD, according to the DOH and DANR.
Elderly citizens, young children, and individuals with respiratory problems are the most susceptible to the smoke. The DANR and DOH advise all people in the affected area should All people should avoid excessive physical exertion and minimize outdoor activities during periods of low visibility caused by the wildfire smoke. 

DANR provides air quality data on the department’s website for several locations in South Dakota. Hourly PM2.5 values greater than 35 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) are a concern to public health.

The DANR air quality level chart.

DANR provides air quality data and individuals may track the air quality in real time on their website.

The DANR issued an air quality alert on Aug. 29 for parts of the state because of wildfire smoke.