The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Iowa. The worst air quality is expected in about the eastern third of the state, where fine particulates will be at concentrations the EPA considers unhealthy.
Fine particulate levels near or above EPA health standards are expected to increase throughout the day and persist through Wednesday. Elevated levels of fine particulates may be a concern over the next several days as the smoke moves through the state.
The DNR recommends that people reduce long or intense activities, and take more breaks during outdoor activities until air quality conditions improve. The recommendation is especially pertinent to individuals with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers, and outdoor workers. People in these categories should consider rescheduling or moving outdoor activities indoors.
To avoid the impacts of the smoke while indoors, the DNR urges keeping doors and windows closed, running air conditioning units and using an indoor air purifier.
Real-time air quality maps and information about the air quality index can be found on EPA’s airnow.gov site. A graphic approximation of the extent and trajectory of the smoke plume can be seen on the map at fire.airnow.gov/.
EPA’s specific guidelines on what precautions can be taken to minimize the impact of high ozone and fine particulate levels are available at airnow.gov/activity-guides.