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IDEM Issues Air Quality Action Days in Indiana due to Canadian Wildfire Smoke
Indiana Ag Connection - 06/08/2023

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has declared Air Quality Action Days (AQAD) for Wednesday, June 7, 2023, and Thursday, June 8, 2023, across all counties in Indiana. The alert is in response to the presence of smoke from wildfires in Canada, which has resulted in high particulate levels in various cities.

Current readings indicate elevated particulate matter in South Bend, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Muncie. Additionally, cities including Detroit, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the Mid-Atlantic states are also experiencing heightened levels of particulate matter. The prevailing north to northeast winds are expected to carry this particulate matter across Indiana.

Air quality may continue to be affected even after Thursday. IDEM advises residents to visit to access real-time and forecasted air quality conditions, as well as subscribe to email alerts for updates.

IDEM encourages individuals to make changes to their daily habits in order to reduce PM2.5 exposure. The following measures are recommended:

Avoid burning wood in fireplaces, wood-fired boilers, or engaging in any unnecessary fires. Note that Indiana's open burning laws prohibit the burning of trash and generally restrict open burning.

Minimize outdoor activities to reduce exposure to unhealthy levels of PM2.5, especially near busy roads. Avoid exercising in areas with poor air quality.

Combine errands to reduce the frequency of vehicle trips.

Refrain from using gasoline-powered snow removal equipment or gas-powered recreational vehicles.

Keep vehicle engines well-tuned and avoid unnecessary idling, such as at bank or restaurant drive-thrus.

Conserve energy by turning off lights when not in use and setting the thermostat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

PM2.5 refers to microscopic dust, soot, and liquid particles that settle deep into the lungs and are difficult to exhale. Prolonged exposure to high levels of PM2.5 can pose a greater risk to vulnerable individuals.

IDEM closely monitors weather patterns and PM2.5 readings to provide daily air quality forecasts. Air Quality Action Days are typically declared when specific weather conditions, such as light winds, snow cover, higher humidity, and atmospheric inversions, trap pollutants near the ground. For more information on PM2.5 or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit By taking proactive measures and staying informed, Hoosiers can help mitigate the impact of poor air quality on their health and well-being.

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