Air quality advisory extended through Friday; Rochester’s air considered ‘good’ Thursday evening

[anvplayer video=”5180568″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After worsening air quality on Thursday afternoon because of the Canadian wildfires, the air has returned to “good” for the evening.

That’s according to real-time air quality monitor AirNow, which is run by several government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency. It tracks particulate matter 2.5, particles so fine that they can travel deep in the respiratory tract.

The EPA now considers Rochester’s air as “good”, meaning that outdoor activities are safe for all. However, some areas to the east and west of the city are still considered “moderate”, which means acceptable for most people except those with heart or lung conditions.

However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is still extending its air quality health advisory through Friday. The advisory is for Western New York, Long Island, and the New York City Metro area because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires.

The air throughout Thursday is much improved from Wednesday when the smoke from the wildfires pushed the air quality into the “unhealthy” zone. That meant people with heart and lung disease were advised against outdoor activities. Since then, the most intense smoke has shifted downstate. The air quality will improve more consistently this weekend as the wind shifts away from Rochester.

Northernly winds have carried smoke and particulate matter from wildfires around Quebec, Canada hundreds of miles away to Rochester. Canada is experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons ever. More than 160 fires have been reported in Quebec including at least 114 that were still out of control on Tuesday. The fires have forced about 10,000 people from their homes in Quebec.