Air quality alert extended into Tuesday; Air in Rochester is ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – New York State has extended its air quality health advisory for Monroe County and other regions on Tuesday through 11:59 p.m. because of the return of Canadian wildfire smoke.

The air in Monroe County and counties to the east are “unhealthy for sensitive groups” on Tuesday as of noon according to the AirNow website run by the Environmental Protection Agency and others. Anyone with heart or lung disease, along with the young and old, should shorten their time outdoors. They should also choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running). Everyone else can enjoy outdoor activities as normal.

You can see live air quality updates here.

Canada is having its worst wildfire season on record, which is blowing particulate matter (PM2.5) into our region. PM2.5 are particles so fine that they can enter deep into the respiratory tract. Canada reported about 880 active wildfires a week ago, with more than half being out of control. New York State forest rangers have gone to Canada to help fight the fires.

The air quality health advisory went into effect on Monday across the state. That advisory was extended into Tuesday for Eastern Lake Ontario (which includes Monroe and Wayne counties) along with the Adirondacks, Central New York, and Upper Hudson Valley regions.

To protect yourself from the air, you can wear an N95 or KN95 mask.