The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued an Air Quality Alert, effective until midnight EDT Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Monroe County is part of the region affected.
The alert comes as the department declares an Air Action Day due to anticipated poor air quality.
The central region of Indiana continues to experience the effects of smoke from Canadian wildfires, leading to reduced visibility. Current visibility levels range between 2 and 3 miles, occasionally dropping to as low as 1 mile. These conditions are expected to persist until sunrise, with improvements anticipated later in the day due to daytime mixing. However, reduced visibilities are still likely to persist throughout most of the day. As a result, air quality is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The Air Quality Action Day specifically targets PM 2.5, indicating that fine particulate levels are expected to reach the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. Individuals, especially children, active adults, and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, are advised to limit their outdoor exposure for extended periods.
Authorities recommend several precautionary measures for the public to undertake. These include carpooling or utilizing public transportation, staying indoors whenever possible, monitoring indoor air quality through proper air circulation and checking filtration systems, combining errands into one trip to avoid excessive driving, refraining from refueling vehicles or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 pm, switching off car engines when idling for more than 30 seconds, and conserving energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
The National Weather Service in Indianapolis issued a Special Weather Statement at 12:27 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, concerning visibility reduction due to smoke. The statement applies to various counties in central Indiana, including Carroll, Warren, Tippecanoe, Clinton, Howard, Fountain, Montgomery, Boone, Tipton, Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Randolph, Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Henry, Vigo, Clay, Owen, Morgan, Johnson, Shelby, Rush, Sullivan, Greene, Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Decatur, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Lawrence, Jackson, and Jennings, as well as several cities within those counties.
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