LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Millions of people are being affected by air quality concerns while smoke from several Canadian wildfires moves into the Northeast and Midwest, including Michigan.
Wednesday night, health warnings came from state air quality experts who said if you’re sensitive to air issues it’s best to stay inside as conditions could get worse.
“Initially, earlier in the week was Quebec wildfires. That was affecting us more Monday into yesterday,” Michigan Environment Great Lakes and Energy Meteorologist Alec Kownacki said. “And what we noticed yesterday evening into this morning…there was some fires in Ontario.”
While these wildfires are popping up around the globe, state experts said the plumes are affecting the air quality here.
“We’re seeing north, north-easterly winds. So, that’s bringing it right down Lake Huron and right into the thumb, southeastern Michigan, Mid-Michigan areas,” Kownacki said.
These poor air quality conditions are affecting people like Samantha Balde, who have struggled with breathing issues since she last remembered.
“I’ve had asthma and allergies pretty much my whole life,” Balde said.
She started to notice issues last week and it has been a struggle since.
“This time of year is not great anyways,” she said. “I was indoors all day doing pretty okay and then I started driving and I was just like ‘My mouth is so dry and I’m having a hard time breathing.'”
According to officials, there are precautions people can take to stay safe.
“Try to stay inside, try to limit outdoor exposure, or exertion, if you have to go outside take things slow, limit your exertion rate not what you’re doing, if you can, wear a mask there’s some extra protection there,” Kownacki said.
On Wednesday, New York City was ranked as the worst city in the world for air quality and Detroit is the second worst in the nation.
“It would be too premature to say we would get close to the Detroit numbers or what is happening out in New York right now, but I would expect them to stay consistent with what they are right now,” he said.
He added that the smoke in mid-Michigan could stick around until Saturday.