The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day for all counties in the state due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. Due to north to northeast winds, IDEM says this particulate matter is expected to continue traveling through Indiana and air quality may continue to be impacted beyond today Thursday June 8, 2023. On Wednesday high particulate readings existed in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and Muncie. PM2.5 particulate matter, microscopic particles two-and-a-half microns (or micrometers) or smaller, is composed of microscopic dust, soot, and liquid that settles deep into the lungs and cannot be easily exhaled, IDEM said. Hoosiers are encouraged to visit smogwatch.IN.gov to view current and forecast conditions and subscribe to email alerts.
IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce PM2.5 by making changes to daily habits and offered these suggestions:
• Avoid burning wood in fireplaces or wood-fired boilers and any other unnecessary fires
• Reminder: Indiana’s open burning laws make it illegal to burn trash and generally prohibit open burning, visit in.gov/idem/openburning/ for more information
• Reduce activity time outdoors to reduce unhealthy exposure to PM2.5 and avoid exercising near busy roads
• Combine errands into one trip
• Avoid using gasoline-powered snow removal equipment or gas-powered recreational vehicles
• Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
• Conserve energy by turning off lights or adjusting the thermostat
IDEM examines weather patterns and PM2.5 readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about PM2.5 or sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov .