Potential Air Quality Impacts from Northwestern U.S. and Canadian Wildfires

News Release
For Immediate Release: 10/8/2021

Amanda Woita, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, (402) 471-4243;

Julie Naughton, Office of Communications, DHHS (402) 471-1695 (office); (402) 405-7202 (cell);

Lincoln –   An advisory of possible Moderate (yellow category) to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur in Nebraska beginning October 10 through October 11.   

Intermittent Unhealthy (red category) impacts in certain areas are also possible.

During yellow category/moderate conditions, sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.  When conditions rise to the orange category, sensitive groups are advised to reduce prolonged outdoor exertion.  In red category/unhealthy conditions, sensitive groups should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and consider moving activities indoors or rescheduling; others should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion and take more breaks during outdoor activities.

Wildfires in the Northwestern U.S. and Canada may affect the air quality in Nebraska. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy staff monitor smoke levels and wind directions to assess when impacts to Nebraska's air quality may occur. Smoke advisories are issued for impacted areas by notifying the media and local health departments, and posting information on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy's (NDEE) webpages and social media sites. Advisories help citizens protect their health by alerting them to days where outdoor activities should be reduced or avoided to minimize exposure to smoke.

Advisories are based on data provided by National Weather Service, smoke plume modeling, and from air quality monitors located in Omaha, Bellevue, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff.

The following Air Quality Index (AQI) is used (chart is below). This AQI is used nationally. For an hourly update on air quality across Nebraska, visit https://www.airn​ow.gov. For automatic air quality notifications by text or email, please consider using Enviroflash http://www.enviro​flash.info/

Air Quality Index 


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