How Canadian wildfires are impacting Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Many people have compared recent pictures of New York to an apocalyptic movie, but that is not the case. It is just haze from the Canadian wildfires.

The haze has made its way across the eastern United States and has made its way into Kentucky.

ABC36 Meteorologist, Dillon Gaudet, explained the impact, adding that, “the smoke is a larger particle that is in the air so that’s what’s leading to the higher air quality index right now. That is the smoke kind of making its way down to the surface. We’ve seen that a lot this week where our air quality index is over 100 which isn’t pretty typical here for Lexington, Kentucky. We usually have pretty clean air.”

The air quality index is normally below 50, but this past week the area has seen extremely high numbers.

The pollutants can also cause health problems for the elderly, small children and people with underlying respiratory conditions.

Dr. David Mannino, the chief medical officer of the COPD Foundation and a professor at the University of Kentucky, shares the dangers of this air pollution.

“And the other sort of advice that we give to people, particularly if you have respiratory problems is to just check with your doctor. People for example that have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are at increased risk for having flare ups or exacerbations when they’re exposed to air pollutants,” Dr. Mannino says.

That is why it is important to check the air quality index before any outside activity.

Fortunately, the poor air quality is not going to stay around much longer in the area.

“In the winds we’ll get a little bit of a shift as opposed to the northeast wind that we’ve been dealing with recently, we get a southwesterly wind and that’ll help blow that smoke on outta here and also some rain that moves in Sunday will that on out as well,” added Gaudet.

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