State health officials say smoke from wildfires in the western U.S. could prompt a health advisory for the Panhandle and parts of western Nebraska over the next couple of days.
Nebraska officials continue to monitor smoke levels and wind directions and provides updates accordingly to the media and public. 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 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 NDEE and the National Weather Service (NWS), and from air quality monitors that are located in Lincoln, Omaha, Bellevue, Grand Island and Scottsbluff.
An advisory of Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (orange category) impacts may occur in western Nebraska, potentially affecting Alliance, Chadron, Kimball, Scottsbluff and Sidney, on Monday, August 24 through Tuesday, August 25. An advisory of Moderate (yellow category) impacts may continue into Wednesday, August 26, but conditions are expected to move back to the green category (no impacts) by Thursday, August 27.
During yellow category/moderate conditions, unusually sensitive groups should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. When conditions rise to the orange category, sensitive groups are advised to reduce prolonged outdoor exertion.
The following Air Quality Index (AQI) is used. This AQI is used nationally. For an hourly update on air quality across Nebraska visit https://www.airnow.gov .
For more information on smoke awareness, visit NDEE’s website at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.
For more information on burn activity and a smoke outlook, visit NDEE’s website at http://deq.ne.gov/Press.